What is all this fury, furore really about?

1311-1-1-BACKPAGE 14 NOV NEWRobson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor—
FOOTBALL-MAD prophet Walter Magaya’s cameo appearance for the Warriors Legends in their showdown against the Barcelona Legends has triggered a social media explosion with scores of people questioning the decision to let him feature in the game when he isn’t a former member of the team. A number of critics turned to social media to vent their fury while doctored images of Magaya, including one in which his face was plastered on one of the Zimbabwean cricketers in a team of the Chevrons Legends like Andy and Grant Flower, were produced and posted online as the reaction went into overdrive.

Others said it was a scandal for ZIFA to allow their benefactor, who housed both the Warriors Legends and the Barca Legends at his plush Harare hotel complex, to feature for the Warriors Legends when he had never played for the team before. Magaya was introduced as a late substitute to a rousing reception from the huge crowd at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday and then cheered the fans with some deft touches as he helped provide the colour that such occasions — where the entertainment value should always overshadow the result — are always crying out for.

ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda said Magaya played as their special guest and, as the governing body of football in the country, they had a right to choose who could value to the occasion. ‘’The prophet is not a Warriors Legend but he played for the Warriors Legends on the basis of an invitation he received from us as our special guest,’’ said Sibanda.

‘’The next time we have such a game, we could even invite someone like Oliver Mtukudzi to be a guest player for the team because this is all about having fun and football should use such occasions to cement its relationship with those who are legends in their fields in this country. ‘’We are all Zimbabweans and that is the bottom line and the people who were at the National Sports Stadium and who watched the game live on television really had a great time and we are happy that we brought smiles on the faces of many Zimbabweans.’’

But, in a country where negativity and doom are commodities that appear to appeal to many better than the positive stuff, the debate after the colourful events on Sunday, which attracted the biggest crowd to watch a local football game in recent months, was not about the enduring popularity of Madinda Ndlovu, the sheer class of Ronald Sibanda or Zenzo Moyo’s defiance of gravity to roll back the years and score a beauty of a goal.

Instead, the narrative was dominated by Magaya’s cameo show. However, amid the flurry of all the negative comments, and creations, which accompanied the prophet’s show in the colours of the Warriors Legends, there were some who dared to see the other side. Like former CAPS United’s defensive stalwart, Frank ‘’Dealer’’ Nyamukuta, who was one of the stars who helped the Green Machine win their first league championship after Independence in 1996, who felt the negative buzz was all uncalled for.

‘’I saw a lot of people on FB (Facebook) complaining or questioning why Prophet Walter Magaya participated in the Zim legends v Barca Legends match,’’ Nyamukuta, who is based in England, posted on his Facebook page. ‘’I didn’t see anything wrong with it. He is not a football legend yes but he was a guest player. I also think it added fun and entertainment to those who attended.

‘’Here in UK I have seen Usain Bolt, Olly Muirs, etc, taking part in games like this. The good thing is that he loves the game and can even play. A guest player can be anyone. Kufunga kwanguwo please don’t crucify me.”

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt was supposed to play for the Manchester United Legends in their match against the Barcelona Legends at Old Trafford on September 2 but failed to recover from a nagging injury which had stalked him during his final appearance at the World Athletics Championships. Bolt is a lifelong Manchester United fan.

“Sadly I have tear of the proximal myotendinous junction of biceps femoris in my left hamstring with partial retraction. 3 months rehab,” he tweeted ahead of the match. The news made headlines around the world with the Manchester Evening News also joining in the feast. ‘’Olympic great Usain Bolt won’t be fit enough to play for Manchester United Legends against Barcelona, it has been confirmed,’’ the newspaper reported.

‘’The sprinting legend suffered a hamstring injury in his farewell race at the World Athletics Championships in London at the weekend and recent scans have revealed the damage will rule him out of action for three months. ‘’The injury means Bolt will be unable to feature for United Legends at Old Trafford on September 2 in the charity game for the Manchester United Foundation.’’

While the globe didn’t see anything wrong with Bolt featuring for the United Legends, and even mourned his absence because of injury, here in Zimbabwe, Magaya’s appearance for the Warriors Legends in an exhibition game has torched a storm. Yesterday, Magaya told The Herald he was at peace with himself and praised all those who celebrated his appearance for the team.

‘’I am a very, very happy man right now, just being there, playing with those legends, I can’t put my feelings into words and I thank those who gave me the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari in the team,’’ he said. ‘’If there is a regret, I think I was introduced a bit late because I felt I could have done more if I had been introduced just after half-time.

‘’To me, this is all about nation-building, our people coming together to just enjoy the occasion and that is what is making me feel all this joy.’’ He even said the next phase should be about bringing the current Barcelona side, including the legendary Lionel Messi, or the Spanish national football team to Zimbabwe in the wake of the resounding success of the tour of the Barca Legends to this country.

‘’Let’s not stop here, let’s now bring in the real Barcelona team because we have started this relationship and these guys who were here will go back and say some lovely stuff about our country because they really enjoyed their stay,’’ he said.

‘’Then, let’s try and bring in the Spain national team here, and all its stars, so that they play our real Warriors and help them prepare for their matches in the AFCON qualifiers. Remember, Spain will be preparing for the World Cup next year and they need some opponents and we can have our full-strength team playing against them here and a full-house at the National Sports Stadium.’’

In August 2015, David Beckham was replaced in the 76th minute by his 16-year-old son Brooklyn at Old Trafford in a Unicef Match for Children before 75 000 fans. Brooklyn played alongside a number of United Legends like Paul Scholes for the British and Irish Legends in that match against a World XI. ‘’One of my lasting memories of playing here was winning the Premiership and walking round with Brooklyn at 18 months,’’ Beckham told the media.

“Having him out here today was a big decision, but I was very proud. It is difficult for him to get on my shoulders. Thankfully the manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) thought it was something we should do.”

In March 2001, Brazilian legendary striker Ronaldo scored five goals in a charity match which also featured former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher before 40 000 fans at the Maracana. Schumacher used the match to hone his fitness for the Brazilian Grand Prix and the German superstar was guilty of wasting a number of good chances in the game before scoring for the sport.

“It was great fun playing alongside Schumacher,” Ronaldo said. “He by no means looked out of place. We even worked on some neat one-twos together.” The match was organised by TV network Rede Globo and Unicef to help underprivileged children in Brazil as part of the Hope for Children programme.

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  • Taneta

    The difference between Magaya and the examples given above is that Magaya is a false prophet and a parasite who thrives on tithes from gullible poor people. Giving him a platform in the match affords him publicity that enables him to expropriate even more funds from Innocent and naive Zimbo’s.

    • bona pombiyatyoka

      Pakuti false prophet wabaya dede nemukanwa . kkk

    • Just Saying

      False prophet according to who? You? Who or what ordained you to determine who is a false prophet and who isn’t? For the record, there is no explicit requirement for anyone to pay tithes at PHD.

    • jojo

      that can all be true but in this case,someone who has financed this match with his own money can surely be allowed to join in the fun without causing any furore.its not like Zim was playing a world cup match.this was a ‘boozers’ match were everyone was there to enjoy.lets learn to praise those who do good things .if all the negative energy were to be directed to politicians who have looted this country dry ,we wouldn’t be in a sorry state that we are now

    • Tawa

      This is poor hatrage with a passion. What qualification do you have to label Prophet W. Magaya as false Prophet, are you a prophet, spirit medium or you are simply delusional. Which tithes are you talking about, do you have the statistics? This is a baseless accusation to the Man of God, Prophet W. Magaya and stop judging people. Intentionally you are blind to the good gesture that he has shown of providing accommodation to the Legends of both teams. What you see in Zimbabweans are gullible people, innocent and naïve Zimbos only, it is very sad that negativity is what rules , the positive has no meaning at all. In which category do you classify yourself as a Zimbo.

    • muchovi washoko

      The prophet issue haipindi apa. Hanzi he was a guest player, period. Gullible people? Ask the people themselves. If they are complaining to you, tough luck

  • Dennis mudzingwa

    Next time just tell the people in advance so they know who they are dining.

  • nelson moyo

    These old boys look like a potent football team – let them take on CAPS and show them how football is played

    • Komma Komma

      You have a very dubious point there Nelson!

  • Givemore Chivandaidze

    Me also had simillar negativity on Magaya’s inclussion but when he touched the ball with the exuberant and vociforous supporting crowed in the stadium i changed my mind and enjoyed the prophet. Realizing also his contribution in facilitating the accomodation of these guys at his World class hotel. these guys guys felt home and more comfortable with his facilities which we lack as football country.Thanks to PHD, ndinombomuwanzira kune zvechurch but apa he is doing splendind job.

  • Pawpaw

    You also left out Joseph Yobo’s memorial match in 2016. The same match featured the diminutive actor Pawpaw who went on to score from the penalty spot.

    • Makandigaya

      But things have got to be put in black and white. that so and so will play so and so will do a certain role. His role was not in the field.You can spin and say whatever but thats the truth. The match was about legend Worriors and and when people went there they wanted to see legends there was nowhere that Guest players were mentioned. People were sold a dummy. Thats were the futy is.

  • jojo

    To be a millionaire be it in business or anything you have to take advantage the gullible. If people donate money willingly to him, surely you cant blame him for receiving it can you? I am not saying that this guy is a saint but in this case he sponsored the gala and surely he can be allowed to join in the fun without offending armchair critics

  • jojo

    ‘its not his money….’ if its not his, stop him from donating then.if the money is yours then go and get it then.

  • Todyamarara

    Ngavatambe ne Yadhah and he can play to his hearts content with no comment from me. But kana iri DeMbare or Dembare legends thats different he is neither as he isnt a Warriors legend. Its not that I am jealous or dislike him its just that akangokwana pasiri pake chete. malevels angasiyane hongu hatirambe but no amount of money can buy certain things ..

  • sam varaigwai

    There is no point of being emotional and try to threaten people saying uchiita rushambwa hakuna zvakadaro beside that it will be varoi that then substantiate the fact that maprophet enhema .Man of God pray for those people who do not understand the way God works so that they have the knowledge.I hope you understand what l am trying to put across

  • TT style

    Aaaaaaaah totokona kudya Sadza nekuti magaya wazokava bhora aaaargggg. zvikaita basa zvine basa rei….

  • Blueband

    While Taneta is not a God but the bible is very clear for you to tell hoe a False prophet acts and looks like. And it seems the man you are calling a prophet is very much near that. The uinfortunate part is he does not want you to read and understand that verse. Very Unfortunate.

  • mabwe

    Kuti inhema here kuti ifalse prophet? Iwe urikudyawo ndosaka uchidaro. But remember kuti zita raMwari haritambwe naro

  • Gaitor

    Those who counter the FACT that his a false prophet but a profiteer, a charlatan , who preys on the weak and desperate for a miracle.
    Are they not paid to counter the positive and truthful feedback. If Magaya says his a prophet from God name one significant miracle did he say will come to pass and said “Thus Says the Lord” Name 1. Whether he feeds a million or 2 million its irreverent except that its a marketing gimmick to siphon money from the weak under the pretext of saying he does charity work.

    Their prophecies don’t come to pass (Dt. 18:20-22)

    False teachers are man pleasers. What they teach is meant to please the ear more than profit the heart. (1 Thes. 2:4)

    False teachers obscure their false doctrine behind eloquent speech and what appears to be impressive logic.

    False teachers exploit their followers.(1 Peter 2:1-3)