Is Murisa a CAPS Utd legend?
Sharuko on Saturday
FOR the first time, in more than 30 years in these trenches, I was called a DOG.
A barking dog, for that matter.
I grew up with dogs, my old man was fascinated with these pets and, at one time, we had six.
My favourite was the one we called Sakonzeka, the rebel who terrorised visitors to our house, of course, to the delight of my youthful exuberance.
I loved it and he loved me.
And, together, we explored the strange but beautiful relationship which can exist between a boy and his dog.
One day Sakonzeka died.
I’m not sure that, in the first decade of my existence in this world, there is anything, which crushed my little soul, the way the death of my Sako did.
I still love dogs.
And, that probably explains why, on the numerous occasions I have been insulted as a dog, in other circles, it hasn’t really worried me.
However, for the first time, being dubbed a DOG caught my attention and had an impact on me.
Maybe, it’s because, for the first time, it was actually delivered in print, on a social media platform, and was related to the work I do.
I was called the barking dog whose noise would not worry the elephant, let alone stop it, from doing its business.
In my youthful days, I would have responded, with both fire and brimstone, transforming myself into a raging volcano to protect my name.
But, with age, you lose some of that youthful enthusiasm for fights, even you are labelled a DOG and, like Nelson Mandela, you simply let bygones be bygones.
Wisdom reminds you that not all battles have to be fought and, more often than not, you actually say it best when you say nothing at all.
Clearly, Alois Bunjira was not happy that I chose to question whether or not he is a CAPS United legend.
I understand his anger, if not his frustration.
I also understand the thousands of people who have fought in his corner and who believe that he is a bona fide CAPS United legend.
These are people who believe that anyone, who dares to pose a question about Bunjira’s legendary status, is not only a mad man but probably a DOG.
For the avoidance of doubt, Bunjira is a young man I respect very much and someone I have grown very close to in the past two decades.
He was my fellow pundit on ‘Game Plan’ and he blew me away with his rich knowledge of football and his fearlessness to tackle everything wrong with our national game.
He questioned why I had seemingly picked him and not Cheche Billiat, Morgan Nkathazo, Felix Antonio, Stewart Murisa or any other member of his CAPS United generation?
Well, it was my decision, just like the way I had picked Moses Chunga, in the previous edition of this blog, and questioned if Bambo was a Warriors legend?
It was deliberate to start with Bambo, the guy who, to a certain constituency, is the greatest Zimbabwean footballer they ever watched.
I don’t agree with them because, in my world, the Flying Elephant, Peter Ndlovu, takes pride of place.
But, I still respect their opinion that Bambo is their greatest because this is what it is all about — opinions and preferences.
So, if I can run a blog, questioning the legendary status of Moses Chunga, surely, every other player becomes fair game.
Simply because Chunga belongs to the exclusive club of the Three Musketeers of our football — George Shaya, Peter Ndlovu and Bambo himself.
Neither Chunga nor any of his millions of fans dared to call me a DOG, a barking one for that matter.
But, that’s the way life is.
And, as a blogger, if you can’t evoke emotion, and strong opinions and even the occasional abuse, including being likened to a DOG, then you are in the wrong lane.
I NEVER SAID BUNJIRA ISN’T A CAPS LEGEND
For the record, I didn’t say Bunjira was not a CAPS United legend.
What I did is that I posed some questions related to that legendary status and whether someone would be right if he thought otherwise.
I said Bunjira’s first season at CAPS United was over in August because of a serious injury.
But I was also clear that it shouldn’t ever erode the massive contribution which he made towards the Green Machine winning their first championship since Independence, in 1996.
He also had an excellent, injury-plagued season in 1997, when Dynamos won the championship and, sometime in 1998, he was gone to South Africa.
“It probably sounds like a very stupid question and I can understand those who will feel that way.” I wrote last week.
“I fully understand those who will say that this feels mischievous and a waste of time because ‘IT IS GIVEN THAT ALOIS IS A CAPS UNITED LEGEND.’”
However, I also said it should be asked if someone who spends effectively two-and-half seasons, dogged by injuries, and wins a championship, can be banded in the same legendary status as Lloyd Chitembwe?
A three-time winner of the championship, as a player, and one more title, as a coach, including guiding CAPS United into the group stages of the Champions League.
Crucially, he is the ONLY CAPS United son to win the league championship as a coach.
I wondered if this then means we should break down the levels of legendary status at CAPS United with the likes of Joel Shambo and Joe Mugabe in their special category while others will be in their own categories?
And, this wasn’t just about Bunjira and CAPS United, even though they were the subject last week.
In a way, it was also about other players and other clubs.
It was meant to be a series, starting with Chunga himself, simply because he calls himself ‘The Greatest,’ and there are tens of thousands of fans who believe he is.
Having taken on the biggest character of them all, the series was then set to take stops at different clubs, dealing with different players, and coming with provocative questions related to their legendary status.
In this job, I have learnt to respect opinion and to also understand that I’m not the Bible when it comes to our football and there are times I will get it wrong.
I’m human and I also make mistakes but I try to be as fair as I can.
And, one of the things I have tasked myself is to question many things, which we have taken for granted, in our game.
If we don’t do that, our kids will grow thinking that, indeed, there was a time when Dynamos really had SEVEN million fans in this country.
If we don’t do that our kids will grow believing that, indeed, in 1978, Black Aces defender, Simon Mudzudzu, scored all four goals in one match at Gwanzura.
The good thing is that the encyclopedia of our football, Charles “CNN” Mabika is still alive and able to provide us with the truth.
Thanks to CNN, it turns out that Simon Mudzudzu never scored a goal throughout his career.
It’s like that story about Agent Sawu that no one else would score, once he did, for the Dream Team.
Until someone questions that, explores it and shows that it wasn’t true, there are millions who will believe that for the rest of their lives.
IS MURISA A CAPS LEGEND?
So, one can also ask — Is Stewart Murisa a CAPS United legend?
Shutto won the Soccer Star of the Year and was outstanding in that ’96 championship campaign.
And, by the time he scored against Orlando Pirates in their ’97 Champions League showdown, he had already established himself as a leader at the Green Machine.
It’s hard to argue that Bunjira did more than Shutto at CAPS United or alternatively Shutto did more than Criss-Cross.
Others will say that Shutto burnt bridges, and destroyed his legendary status, when he joined Dynamos, the ultimate enemy, in the eyes of the Green Machine fans.
Far and fine!
So, does that mean Sunday Chidzambwa is not a Dynamos legend?
Some will argue that he is the greatest DeMbare son of all-time, having captained them to success and then coached them to SEVEN league titles.
He was also in charge when they enjoyed their finest hour in the ’98 Champions League.
But, this is the same Mhofu who also coached CAPS United and does that take away his legendary status at DeMbare?
Chunga, too, had a stint as coach of the Green Machine while Callisto Pasuwa, four-time league champion with DeMbare as a coach, was an assistant coach at CAPS United.
In March this year, Michael Owen played for the Liverpool Legends against their AC Milan counterparts at Anfield.
He came on a substitute and was roundly booed by the Liverpool fans because, towards the end of his career, he decided to play for eternal rivals Manchester United.
The booing first happened in 2009 when Owen returned to Anfield, as a Red Devil, and was thrown into battle with 13 minutes left in the match.
This is the same Owen who is the last Englishman to win the Ballon d’Or.
If we visit the Kop this weekend, and ask if Owen is a Liverpool legend, it’s very likely we will be told he is NOT.
If we take him to Anfield this weekend and ask him to parade himself on the field before the game, it’s very likely he will be booed.
But, the beauty of sport is that there will always be that alternative view.
Joey Mills, writing in The Sportsman in December last year, provided a vintage article which did justice in exploring the difficult question of whether Michael Owen is a Liverpool legend or not.
The headline of the article couldn’t have been more appropriate, ‘Sticking Up For Michael Owen, The Legend That No Club Will Claim.’
“Sixth on the all-time England top scorers list, one of just ten players to score 150 Premier League goals, a Ballon d’Or winner,” wrote Mills.
“A clean sweep of English top-flight silverware and a UEFA Cup to boot, 482 club career appearances, in which he netted 222 goals, a further 40 goals across 89 internationals, including goals at four major tournaments.
“By any measure, this is a legendary football career yet the owner of these accolades, Michael Owen is seldom considered a legend.
“IF Owen is a legend, he is one without a home and can one really be a legend when no club you played for is willing to afford you legendary status?
“Owen’s record at Liverpool certainly outstrips some who wear the ‘legend’ tag at Anfield, he sits level with Kenny Dalglish in the scoring charts.”
What does this tell us?
That even the legendary status of someone like Michael Owen can be debated and, if that is the case, even Bunjira or anyone else, is fair game.
You can’t tell newspaper bloggers what they should write and how they should write it.
The other day, the Daily Mail described David Beckham as an ‘ID**T’ in a headline yet he is one of English football’s enduring legends.
On Thursday, amid all the debate about Bunjira’s legendary status at CAPS United, one reader told me that Mhofu was not a football legend.
Instead, said the fan, he was a football god.
Then, I realised that the difference between a god and a dog is just one simple spelling mistake.
To God Be The Glory!
Peace to the GEPA Chief, the Big Fish, George Norton, Daily Service, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and all the Chakariboys still in the struggle.
Come on United!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Text Feedback 0772545199
Email – [email protected]
You can also interact with me on Twitter (@Chakariboy), Facebook, Instagram (sharukor) and Skype (sharuko58)