Albert Marufu in LONDON, England
FREDDY MUGADZA, also known as Pasuwa, was a larger-than-life character.
I never got to meet him personally, my interaction with him was limited to social media, and we had scheduled an interview for the forthcoming book on his favourite club Dynamos.
If there is anything he liked the most, then it was Dynamos.
Donning Callisto Pasuwa’s number 9 shirt, and a trademark head bandage, he had a conflicted personality.
“Dynamos FC’s strength lies in its supporters and Freddy was one such passionate fan,’’ said former captain, Memory Mucherahowa.
“As supporters, they had their own wars but, ultimately, they were all united by their love for Dynamos.
“Just like everyone else, he had his won faults, but what you cannot take away from him is his love for Dynamos and the development of football in general.
“He called me mukoma (brother). He stood for what he believed in and at times we had our own fights, but he was not one to pick grudges.
“He would come to your inbox and make peace.’’
Mugadza died in the United States on Saturday from a suspected heart attack.
He was 42.
“It is so sad that he died without fulfilling his dream of one day leading Dynamos. He never wanted to spend the rest of his life in the diaspora, let alone die there,’’ said Mucherahowa.
“His wish was to go back home, by the age of 45, and revive Dynamos. He was passionate about players’ welfare.”
PSL chairman, Farai Jere, said he was a passionate football fan.
‘’I learnt with great shock the passing on of Dynamos supporter (Mugadza). My Condolences to the entire football family,’’ said Jere.
“These are the guys who give a true meaning to our football. These are the guys who make us want to achieve the best in our football.
“To the Dynamos chairman, this is a very difficult time as it happened when we are all under lockdown.
“I know we would all have loved to give our cheerleader a befitting send-off which we cannot do as we are all locked down.
“His contribution to our football will be greatly missed.’’
Another former DeMbare star, Chamu Musanhu, remembers a man who loved his club.
“One thing that he managed to do was to unify people through that Facebook page. Most of the younger generation of supporters got to know more about yesteryear greats through that group,’’ said Musanhu.
“People got to know more about yesteryear greats.”
Former CAPS United defender, Frank Nyamukuta, described him as a passionate fan who loved his Glamour Boys.
“Outside football, he was a very friendly person who got along with so many footballers. He was a close friend to CAPS United players Lloyd Chitembwe and Dumisani Mpofu.
“A host of yesteryear Premier Soccer League players had hair cuts done at his brother Phillip Mugadza’s Fabulous hair saloons,” he said.
Author Lot Chitakasha believes Mugadza believed when football was intense, violence was inevitable and, for that reason, he was just a hooligan to many people.
“He would try to explain why hooliganism and ultraism were a part of football culture,’’ said Chitakasha.
“I argued my point but failed to convince him that both facets were bad for the game.
“For him, the bigger the rivalry and potential violence, the higher the level of football. I had to agree to disagree because his position was immovable,.’’
Mucherahowa remembers that.
“I remember one match when I was red-carded towards the end of the match. We were losing 1-0 and as I was arguing with the referee, I saw Mugadza chasing the linesman and the match was subsequently abandoned.”
Aside from his bravado, as depicted by his admiration of hard knocks such as the late Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, former Kenya strongman Daniel Arap Moi and Russian’s President Vladimir Putin, had also had a softer side.
Mugadza occasionally inboxed group members’ to check on their families and, according to DeMbare fan Chris “Romario’’ Musekiwa, he had plans to buy tombstones for departed four Dynamos supporters.
“His untimely death came at a time he had pledged to buy tombstones for the late Stanford ‘Taribo West’ Nhau and the Chirata brothers Romeo and Biggie. He had tasked me to get quotations,” he said.
He also had weird views like encouraging women to breast feed their children up to the age of two so that we have players with “stamina.”
“We are having a stamina crises Directors,” he would say.
There were also times that he made outrageous claims of having received a CAF Champions League silver medal as an honour for his exploits in the stands.
Mugadza was the last born in a family of eight and was born on June 18, 1977, at Sanyati Baptist Hospital in Kadoma.
He grew up in Harare and went to Houghton Park Primary and Nyamuzuwe Secondary Schools.
He relocated to the United States at the turn of the millennium.