The LONG kiss GOODBYE III ROCK AND ROLL . . . The ‘90s, just like the ‘80s, were a golden era for local football and here CAPS United players celebrate another victory — Picture courtesy of Edzai Muzhange of the Old Football Pictures Facebook Page

Sharuko On Saturday

THREE years ago, I revealed that had I not become a journalist, it’s very likely I would have ended up being either a Baptist preacher, or a songwriter.

One with a bias towards gangsters’ rap music.

Of course, I would never have become a rapper because the gift of a voice, which can hold audiences spellbound, was not something that was extended to me.

Like the powerful voice of Coolio, the United States rapper who rocked our world with his monster hit song aptly named ‘Gangsta’s Paradise.’

Released in 1995, this song became a global anthem, won a Grammy and sold over five million copies around the world.

Its enduring appeal has seen it being streamed more than ONE BILLION times on both Spotify and You Tube.

On Wednesday, Coolio died in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, from a suspected heart attack.

The rapper’s death this week dragged me back to the days of my innocence.

Back to a time, when I was still juggling with some fantasy choices of what I wanted to do in life, including being a songwriter.

I’m hurt because I was a fan of Coolio.

It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when you have spent about almost 30 years, idolising the same artist.

I also understand why many of you are finding it difficult to adjust to the reality that, after a quarter-of-a-century preaching the same gospel, to the same crowd, over and over again, we are ending the life cycle of this blog.

It’s been a special relationship, no doubt about that. You become some kind of a closely-knit family, the writer and the readers, connected by a very special bond, which only 23 years can put together.

Once again, let me make this loud and clear and repeat myself by telling you that penning this blog has been the highlight of my journalism career.

In the beginning, my passion was simply driven by a desire to write about football, about rugby, about cricket and about boxing.

Penning a blog, which would become a part of my identity, was never part of the game plan.

And, even if it was, I don’t think I would have ever expected, even in my wildest of dreams, that I could stretch it to about a quarter-of-a-century.

Together, the writer and his readers, we made history.

Because, when they write the history of journalism in this country, they will include a chapter which will remind the next generation that there was a blog, which outlived all the other columns, on the domestic front.

Think about all the columns you have read, in local newspapers, from those which specialise in politics to those which specialise in business, entertainment and right into sport.

No other column, absolutely none, has run this long, in all the local newspapers combined.

So, no one can accuse us, right now, of being wrong to bring the curtains down on this blog, close this beautiful chapter and step into a new world.

Without you, the readers, this blog would have suffered a still birth and would have been history long before it even clocked 12 months.

It wouldn’t have even made it into the new millennium.

But, once you embraced it, you breathed oxygen into its lungs and, crucially, God was with us.

If any of you had told my people in Chakari in 1980, that one of their boys, who were in Grade Four at the local primary school, would one day spend 23 years writing this blog, they would probably have dismissed you as a madman.

If you had told them that one of their boys would spent 30 years, working for a newspaper like this one, they would probably have chased you out of their town for being an agent for mass deception.

They would have told you that such things don’t happen to us, simple folks of simple lives.

But, God works in a lot of mysterious ways and, today, here we are, the people of Chakari, marking a milestone, closing one chapter and opening another page.


Over the years, on these spaces, I have given loyal readers a glimpse of the lyrics I would probably have written, about the adventure which brought me here.

And, this has been one of my favourites:

“It was all a dream, I used to read Parade magazine

Shaya and Shambo sitting proudly in the limousine

Hanging pictures on my bedroom wall

Way back, when I used to wear my red Man Utd shirt

From a very young age I knew I really loved football

The Jarzin Man, Admire Taderera, used to raise the bar

I never thought sports writing would one day take me this far

Now I’m in the limelight, because they say I write very tight

Time to get paid, blow up like Chakari’s gold trade

Born a sinner, because they never thought a miner’s kid could be a winner

They don’t remember when I used to eat just beans for dinner

Peace to the Gepa Chief, the Big Fish and all the Chakariboys still in the struggle.”

 The Notorious B.I.G owns the copyright for the original lyrics.

And, boy oh boy, his style, and the power of his message, really made a huge impression on not only me but millions of people, around the world.

Sadly, he was dead, at the age of 24.

The Notorious B.I.G was shot and killed on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles, the same City of Angels where Coolio died on Wednesday.

Coolio was born in 1963.

It was the same year Sam Dauya and his colleagues gathered in Mbare to form Dynamos. While the Glamour Boys will be there to celebrate their 60th anniversary next year, Coolio didn’t live to see this milestone.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of top-flight football in this country with the league, in its current format, holding its first championship race in 1962.

Bulawayo Rovers were the champions after they beat Salisbury City 1-0 in the grand championship match.

The Glamour Boys won the following year, in their debut appearance in the league, and next year they will mark the 60th anniversary of the year they first tasted the glory that comes with being champions.

The Rovers won again in ’64 and Dynamos were back on the winners’ podium in ’65, which means that the first four league titles were shared by the two clubs.

It was like Bulawayo and Harare had forged a secret pact in which they would alternate, as the two biggest cities, in winning the league championship. St Paul’s Musami broke that monopoly in ’66 by beating the Rovers 5-4 on aggregate, in the championship match, between those who had won the North and South Zone.

But, any hopes that this would open the theatre for other clubs, from outside the Big Two cities to be regular champions, were mere fantasy.

It would take 51 years before another club, from the two major cities, won the league title when FC Platinum were crowned champions in 2017. Today, the Zvishavane miners stand on the threshold of winning a fourth straight title, which will take their record to the same number of championships, which CAPS United have won, since Independence.

Makepekepe have five titles after winning the 1979 championship.

The magnitude of FC Platinum’s achievement can be seen in that, if they are crowned champions this season, they would have won as many titles as Amazulu, Arcadia United, Chicken Inn and Monomotapa put together.

Or, put in another way, the same championship haul as Gunners, Motor Action, Tornados and Metal Box put together.

That will be twice the number of championships the legendary Black Rhinos team of Stix, Sinyo, Japhet, Jerry, Maronga and Jimmy, which in the ‘80s took on and humbled the giants, won.

For me, a guy from a mining town just like Zvishavane, it gives me great pleasure to see a club, from a similar background like my hometown team Bwela Ufe (Come And Die), achieving such high levels of success.

Rio Tinto should have been the first, in 1983, when they ended with the same number of points (36) as Dynamos, only to be beaten to the league title by goal difference.

They might now have ended up being champions but for John Rugg’s men, to go toe-to-toe with that All-Star DeMbare team, was a badge of honour.

Lucky Dube, Lincoln Mutasa, Sunday Chidzambwa, Misheck Chidzambwa, Oliver Kateya, Kenneth Jere, David Mandigora, Moses Chunga, Gift M’pariwa, Kembo Chunga, Edward Katsvere — that’s as close to a Dream Team as it can ever get in the domestic league.


As part of the farewell party, I have been going down memory lane, overwhelmed by the nostalgia of a journey back into time, when it was real box office attraction.

This week, amid the struggles at Dynamos and CAPS United, which have made headlines across all the mainstream newspapers, I found it ironic that my journey, back into time, took me to days, and nights, when these two giants were the real deal.

Steve Kwashi’s beautiful football of the immortals of the Class of ’96, Shutto and Bunjira, the boys from Chi-Town, the stability factor brought by Mr Perfect, Farai Mbidzo, Joe Mugabe calling the shots in midfield, Silver marshalling the defence, Era Muna with those booming drives from dead balls.

Including one, one unforgettable afternoon at Rufaro in 1996, which ended DeMbare’s challenge and secured the Green Machine their first league title after Independence.

Incredibly, Mphumelelo Dzowa had not trained all week, as he was preparing for his sister’s wedding in Bulawayo, and was flown into Harare on the morning of Match Day.

He was also whisked away back to Bulawayo, just after the game, and could not attend the huge post match celebrations.

What about Charles Mhlauri’s arrival in the capital where he transformed CAPS United into a dominant beast they only lost one league game, in 2004, and never lost any, on the road, throughout the campaign?

Amazing memories.

For me, the finest Harare Derby has to be the Nicoz Africa Day Cup final in 1994, fittingly at Rufaro, the spiritual home of domestic football.

For good measure, the classic produced half-a-dozen goals, including the two goals which made all the difference, coming in time added on.

CAPS United had hosted the first led at the giant stadium and it ended 1-1.

And, when Dzowa (25th min) and Mugabe (38th min) gave them a 2-0 lead and a 3-1 aggregate advantage at the break, with two away goals in the kit, it appeared all over for the shaken Glamour Boys.

Even if they scored twice, in the second half, and CAPS didn’t add to their tally, they would still lose on the away goals rule.

Then, something happened.

Simon Chuma, playing as if he was powered by some sort of demons which gave him the energy others didn’t have, changed everything.

Ten minutes, after the break, he drew the foul which resulted in a penalty which was converted by Francis Shonhayi.

In the 72nd minute, DeMbare were level!

Chuma, with some dancing feet, smuggled his way into space and delivered a cross, which was powered past Brenna Msiska, by the impressive Tauya Murewa.

At 2-2, CAPS United were still winning, on the away goals rule, which was still the case, when the clock hit the 90th minute mark.

Three minutes into time added on, the irresistible Chuma teased his marker on the right and his cross was headed home by Hope Chihota.

And, there was still time for Vitalis Takawira to make it four, after Msiska spilled Murewa’s effort, and one of the greatest comebacks, in the duels between these two giants, had been completed.

The DeMbare heroes that day were Peter Fanwell, Kaitano Tembo, Claudius Zviripayi, Ernest Masango, Tichaona Murewa, Francis Shonhayo, Simon Chuma, Memory Mucherahowa, Tauya Murewa, Hope Chihota, Vitalis Takawira and substitutes Henry Chari and Mugove Munyorovi.

Those who stood in the CAPS United corner were Brenna Msiska, Mphumelelo Dzowa, Carlos Max, Cheche Billiat, Tobias Sibanda, Silver Chigwenje, Morgan Nkathazo, Joe Mugabe, Tonderai Mutambikwa, Basil Chisopo and Gift Mudangwe.

This great game came exactly on the sixth anniversary of the night when, in the same month, in the same tournament and at the same stadium, CAPS United thrashed Dynamos in a seven-goal pounding.

Sadly, all those CAPS United heroes, who scored in that match — Shacky Tauro (hat-trick), Anthony Kambani (brace) and Never Chiku and Gift M’pariwa — are all late.

But, we will never let their memories fade away.

It is a responsibility that we have to ensure that current and future generations will always be reminded that, in our domestic Premiership, we used to have genuine superstars.

It’s a responsibility I carry with pride.

It’s a responsibility which I believe I have also discharged with both honour and commitment for the past three decades.

Of course, I can’t be perfect because I am only human but no one can fault me for a lack of passion for this job.

Which is quite strange, really, when one goes back to the days of my youth where I even toyed with the idea of being a hip-hop songwriter.

And, as this landmark chapter of my life draws to a close on these pages, at the end of this month, I have finding myself borrowing lyrics, from my music vault, to try and put everything, into context.

This week I borrowed lyrics from the song written by Randy Sharp, and done by Restless Heart, in September 1988.

That’s the year CAPS United touched the heavens in a Harare Derby with that seven-goal demolition of Dynamos.

That is also the year Zimbabwe Saints became the first club, from outside Harare, to win the league championship, in the era of Independence.

The song is called ‘A Tender Lie,’ and its lyrics touched me and appeared written for our pending separation, the writer and his readers:

“As I walk away, as we say goodbye

What I wouldn’t give, for a tender lie

Tell me you’ll never stop loving me

Just as if it were true

How much more damage now honestly

Could one tender lie do?

“When we fall so far, are we wrong to try?

To keep out the truth, with a tender lie

Like saying we’re going to come back to each other

And I’ll believe that it’s true

How much more damage now honestly

Could one tender lie do?”

Boy, if only I had a voice to sing, probably, I wouldn’t have spent all my adult life in these trenches.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 You can also interact with me on Twitter (@Chakariboy), Facebook, Instagram (sharukor) and Skype (sharuko58) and Game Plan, the authoritative football magazine show on ZTV, where I interact with the legendary Charles “CNN” Mabika, is back every Wednesday night at 9.30pm

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