Eddie Chikamhi in BINDURA
BINDURA mayor Carlos Tokyo yesterday said Chipadze Stadium could be renamed Biggie Zuze Stadium in honour of the town’s first football superstar.
Zuze, who hailed from Bindura, died last Thursday at the age of 55.
He was laid to rest in his hometown, at Chiwaridzo cemetery, yesterday.
Scores of locals, who spoke to The Herald, described Zuze as their football hero.
Tokyo told mourners during the body viewing ceremony at Chipadze Stadium that the council has made a special resolution to honour Zuze either by rechristening the stadium or naming a street after him.
“We have resolved with the councillors to name a place after Biggie,’’ said Tokyo. “Even this ground could be named after him at the completion of renovations. “We can even name one of our streets after him when the time comes.’’ Former players such as Alfred Chinodakufa, Zondai Nyaungwa, Nkululeko Dhlamini, David Mandigora, Clayton Munemo, Tau Mangwiro, Nesbert Saruchera, Patridge Muskwe and Simon Chuma were part of the huge crowd which paid their last respects.
The coaching fraternity was also represented with the DeMbare technical team, led by Tonderai Ndiraya and Naison Muchekela, also bidding their colleague farewell.
Zuze was one of the assistant coaches at DeMbare at the time of his death.
The burial was also attended by officials from ZIFA, the full Dynamos executive and representatives from other clubs.
The huge turnout meant it was difficult to maintain the social distance protocol under the Covid-19 guidelines.
Mourners, most of them clad in DeMbare’s blue-and-white colours, waved the Glamour Boys flag. Officials and close family members gave moving eulogies as they narrated the life and work of the former DeMbare coach.
ZIFA Mashonaland Central chairman Gilbert Saika said Zuze’s achievements were worth celebrating. “To be recognised as a player, coming from a place like Mashonaland Central, you have to be very good,’’ he said.
“Biggie was that good and he did not end there. It was Biggie’s wish that many other young players from the province also make it to the top. We are appealing to the authorities to continue to scout for more players from this region.’’
One of Zuze’s childhood friends and junior football teammates, Bernard Mutserenga, said Zuze was regarded as a hero when he made the move to Dynamos in 1983.
“He is a hero. He lifted this town by playing for Dynamos. He was very humble. He was approachable, unlike other players, who usually forget where they came from,’’ he said.
“We played junior football together from the Under-14 boys’ club under the Department of Social Welfare.
“We were then taken by GMB Pirates here in Bindura. Later we joined Black Rovers, I think when we were Under-16s.
“I remember around the same time we left for Mt Darwin to join Pfura United. We were a group of five boys but we did not last long there. After playing four or five games, we came back to play for Bindura United here at Chipadze and the technical team was impressed.
“After learning that we were from Bindura they convinced us to stay. That’s how Zuze and I joined Bindura United.’’
The one who first made a breakthrough, according to Mutserenga, was Robert Kurazari. “From our group, a guy called Robert Kurazari was the first to make the grade in the first team, then Biggie and myself,’’ he said.
“We played together in the Mashonaland Central Under-18 but then Biggie left for Dynamos. We really admired him because it was such an achievement.
“I can say he was one of the heroes from our group of players. I don’t remember anyone else who had played top-flight football with a big club like Dynamos from Bindura.
“Probably, the only other player who had made a name was Canaan Dzamara who played for Smirnoff Tigers but they weren’t a top team.” Zuze’s uncle, Petros Katanha Zuze, paid tribute to Dynamos and the people of Bindura for the huge send-off they gave the former midfield grafter.
“He was a man of the people. I’m happy the people of Bindura have given him such a hero’s send-off,’’ he said.
“Besides putting the town on the map, he also contributed by giving equipment to some of the junior teams.
“One of the teams he has been sponsoring is led by his brother Garikai, who is at a loss of words because he doesn’t know where he will get such support. I beg Premiership teams, especially Dynamos, to come to Bindura and scout for players. There is so much talent here.
“Even ZIFA should consider investing more in Bindura.’’