14 November 2012

Zimbabwe: 'This Isn't the CAPS United That I Knew'


As a young boy I defied all odds, especially against my dad, a staunch Dynamos fan, to support CAPS United when everyone else in the family was rooting for the Glamour Boys.

You can imagine how it was, at such an early age, for me to choose to support the "team yemapiritsi" as my father used to call it. CAPS United has stood defiantly, since its arrival on the domestic scene, to stop the dominance of the local league by our number one enemy, DeMbare.

No other team, in Harare or elsewhere, has stood resolutely on the domestic league to repeatedly derail Dynamos the way CAPS United have done. No wonder why CAPS United were called the "The Cup Kings", "Manchester Road Boys", "Shaisa Mufaro," leading to legendary musician, Zexie Manatsa, penning a song in honour of the team.

Back then, as a youngster, l would stick my neck out proudly and stand tall, chiding my fellow mates, after another successful Cup defence or another win against Dynamos. We would sweep everything before us in Cup tournaments and our trophy cabinet was always full to the brim with various Cups be it BAT Rosebowl, Zifa Cup, Africa Day Cup, Chibuku Trophy, Independence Trophy, Heroes Trophy, to name but just a few.

Though CAPS United did not win any league title during the '80s until they won it in 1996, it's a fact that we stood defiantly against Dynamos and will not be pounded into submission easily as is now being done by the current team, which I must rate as the worst team in CAPS United history.

Back then, even when CAPS United was struggling, any match against Dynamos was considered as a Cup game and we would win most of the matches as the players knew the importance of putting on that green jersey.

Great players, who are now late, must be turning in their graves crying out loudly for their team which has now been turned into a punching bag by Dynamos.

Why is the current team making a mockery of the legacy left by the late Joel "Jubilee" Shambo and Shackman "Mr Goals" Tauro, Friday "Breakdown" Phiri, Stanley "Sinyo" Ndunduma, Stanford "Stix" Mtizwa, the eccentric Duncan Elison, Frank "Dealer" Nyamukuta; Gift Mudangwe, Joe "Kode' Mugabe who is now in his adopted home in England, Silver "Bhonzo" Chigwenje, Never "Maswerasei" Chiku, Brenna "Campos" Msiska, Dumisani Mpofu, Oscar Motsi, Albert Mabika, Alois "Kriss Kross" Bunjira, Stewart "Shutto" Murisa, Blessing "Yogo Yogo' Makunike, Ian Bakala, Cephas Chimedza, Laughter Chilembe, Mpumelelo Dzowa, to name but just a few of our great footballers?

The current CAPS United team is crying out loudly for a visionary leader on the field and, whoever takes over must be reminded that we are tired of seeing Dynamos make a meal out of us in every game.

We have now lost our pride today and I am making a humble appeal to our Vice-President and childhood friend, Farai Jere, to reconsider his decision to leave and take immediate and bold steps to save our team, even if it means allowing all players to leave by year-end and work with junior players who know the team's culture and proud history.

Revival of the junior policy is key to reclaiming our glory days as youngsters are taught right from the Under-13's that to lose to Dynamos is taboo.

Today we have a bunch of cloned players who do not have the interest of the team at heart and will not shed a tear as "kuCAPS United kubasa".

No one is bigger than the club, CAPS United has always been there and my heart bleeds for my team and cannot continue to watch while standards at the club plummet.

There is no justification that we can lose all matches against Dynamos, failing to score even a single goal against them, what an insult to us the supporters.

That's not the CAPS United l knew as a young lad back then, my team that could pound our enemy into submission by 7 goals to nil, win all trophies on offer, not lose to Dynamos twice in a year even when we were fighting relegation.

I miss that CAPS United, the CAPS United that I fell in love with, the team that made me love football and stage a min-rebellion at home by going against the wishes of my father and family who all believed that Dynamos was everything, nothing else mattered.

My heart bleeds for you, Makepekepe, Rise CAPS United Rise, Come on Twine and Farai, smell the coffer and, during this off-season, prepare for us a team that will make us proud once again.

The writer is a Harare lawyer and writes in his personal capacity.

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