Former Dynamos midfielder Choruwa still feels the betrayal and pain
By Tadious Manyepo
Former Dynamos midfielder, Samson Choruwa, takes a lengthy pause, grimaces and breaks down.
His phone rings.
But, emotions overwhelm him and, predictably, he ignores the call.
The same caller makes another attempt and this time Choruwa picks up the phone.
It is one of the top managers of a leading tobacco sales company at the other end.
“I have been asked to report for work on Tuesday. I have been working at this company for the past few years as a contract worker. That’s where my bread is buttered,” said Choruwa.
The former teenage star has toiled back and forth in search of a decent life.
Football is not close to his heart anymore.
Even his mother is bitter.
Choruwa was pushed out of the game by a combination of a nasty injury, he suffered back in 2002, and a wrangle between Dynamos and CAPS United over his ownership when he had recovered, two years later.
Being one of the first players, alongside childhood friend, Eddie Mashiri, to graduate from an ambitious nursery project set by then Dynamos coach, Clayton Munemo, at Churchill High School, Choruwa quickly established himself as a star-in-the-making.
By the time most of his colleagues at Churchill, Richard Mafuzha, Leo Kurauzvione and Nyasha Chazika, graduated into the senior Dynamos team, Choruwa was already becoming a cult-hero at DeMbare.
He had already helped the Glamour Boys clinch the BP Cup in 2001.
But, a year later, Choruwa’s career skidded off the rails when he suffered what looked like a career-ending injury in a league match against Masvingo United at Mucheke.
‘‘I remember, I had just scored in the opening moments of that match against Masvingo United at Mucheke,’’ he said.
‘‘I was having a game of my life. I still remember receiving a lofted pass from Esau (Amisi) from the flank.’’
‘‘I trapped the ball and dribbled past one opponent.’’
“Two Masvingo United players, Godfrey Dondo and Kurauone Mudhambani then clashed with me at once, and that was it.’’
“From that moment, I knew my career was in danger. The short I was wearing had to be cut using a pair scissors as my left thigh had swollen badly.’’
‘‘It was so mysterious. Surprisingly, no one cared to take me to hospital.’’
“My parents had to struggle alone. Some well-wishers, including then Sporting Lions manager, James Maridadi, were frustrated as Dynamos felt if he helped I would be snatched by his team.’’
‘‘It was so tough. That is how some CAPS United sympathisers decided to help me out.”
Interestingly, Choruwa grew up supporting CAPS United.
“But, after Dynamos neglected me at a time that I needed their help the most, I then decided it was time for me to join the club I had always wanted to play for, CAPS United.”
Choruwa’s decision was made easier by Kegan Mumba, who had replaced Moses Chunga, as Dynamos coach in 2003.
The late Zambian gaffer didn’t appear to believe in the forward.
Then CAPS United coach, Charles Mhlauri, had already embraced him when a row over his ownership erupted between Dynamos and CAPS United.
Apparently, Dynamos owned Choruwa’s signature, having placed him on a scholarship after plucking him from Glen View High 2 back in 1997, and giving him a lengthy contract.
“I tried to talk to Twine Phiri (then CAPS president) to secure my clearance but Dynamos would have none of it.’’
‘‘But, after considering all what my parents went through, I decided to quit football rather than return there. That’s how I left.”
In the subsequent seasons, both CAPS United and Dynamos attempted to get him back, but Choruwa’s parents wouldn’t allow him.
“I had lost interest.’’
After fully recovering from both the physical and emotional scars, Choruwa went on to attain a ZIFA Level 2 coaching certificate, a qualification he used to coach the now-defunct Budiriro Gunners when they almost clinched a ticket into Division One in 2016.
At Budiriro Gunners, Choruwa nurtured such players as Dynamos midfielder Juan Mutudza, Herentals defender Blessing Maunganidze and Tinashe Balakasi, who is on the books of CAPS United.
Choruwa still believes – thanks, of course, to the phone call he received just when this interview was starting. The Herald