Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THE family of Hamid Dhana — arguably one of the best midfielders to emerge from this country in the pre and post-Independence era — have sent an SOS on his behalf as he desperately needs money to undergo a major operation.
Affectionately known as “Muzukuru” by the multitudes of local soccer fans during his playing days for Arcadia United, Dynamos and Black Rhinos in the 1980s, Dhana was recently diagnosed with cancer of the colon and his son-in-law Curtis Smith is appealing for financial support so that he (Dhana) undergoes an operation.
“Please help my wife’s dad, my father-in-law, MIDZ DHANA aka Muzukuru. It’s a really tough and sad time for him as he is diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and needs a major operation,” Dhana’s son-in-law Curtis Smith wrote on his Facebook wall yesterday.
Dhana’s former teammate at both Arcadia United and the senior national team, Carlos Max, also confirmed yesterday that the former skilful left-footed midfielder is currently under the weather and he needs “approximately £9 500” for his surgery and chemotherapy treatment in the UK.
Max said Dhana is currently around and stays at his home in Harare’s Braeside area.
Another former Arcadia United player, Shaune Charters, added: “Hamid has got stage 3 of cancer of the colon and he is still in Harare. We learnt of this sad news last Friday and he really needs some help to get the operation done. We are also thinking of arranging a fund-raising match for him.”
Legendary goalkeeper, Japhet M’parutsa, who is now based in the UK, has also joined in the fundraising campaign for his former teammate at Dynamos, Black Rhinos and the senior national team.
M’parutsa and Dhana first played together at Dynamos in the early 1980s when the latter was “poached” by coach Shepherd Murape from Arcadia United and they helped DeMbare to win the league title for three years on the trot from 1980 to 1982 before they were both recruited by army side Black Rhinos.
They (M’parutsa and Dhana) were part of an array of talented players who deserted local soccer giants Dynamos and CAPS United and joined Black Rhinos who had just been formed by the Zimbabwe National Army and the side was now under the guidance of Murape and the late Ashton “Papa” Nyazika.
The other soccer stars who were at Dynamos and CAPS United and were recruited by Rhinos during its formative stages were the likes of Stanford “Stix” M’tizwa, the late Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, William Chikauro, Simon “AK” Mugabe (late), Eddie Matsika, David Mukahanana (late) and Ernest “Mr Cool” Mutano.
Powered by those stars, Rhinos immediately established themselves as one of the soccer powerhouses in Zimbabwe and clinched their first league title in 1984, just two years after their formation.
They repeated the same feat in 1987.
Apart from playing for Arcadia United, Dynamos and Black Rhinos, Dhana ventured into coaching after hanging up his boots and was once in charge of the now-defunct Premiership side Shu-Shine.
Former CAPS United bustling striker Francis Nechironga has also indicated that he will help in the fund-raising campaign for Dhana’s operation from his base in the UK.