By Eddie Chikamhi
Premiership football giants Dynamos have grand plans to set up a foundation in honour of their former midfielder Biggie Zuze who died in Harare a fortnight ago.
The Glamour Boys want to carry on with the former midfielder’s legacy especially by helping aspiring talents make it to the top. Zuze supported grassroots football with the aid of his brother and another former Dynamos player Garikai in Bindura.
The foundation is also expected to benefit Zuze’s family especially in assisting complete the house that the former player was building in Harare’s Stoneridge suburb.
Zuze, who starred for Dynamos in the 1980s, was described by many people in his hometown as a football hero following the humble rise from the mining town of Bindura as a teenager to join the then mighty Glamour Boys outfit that had won three successive league titles at the dawn of Independence.
Dynamos then had many big names that helped them conquer the domestic football scene in their long journey to establish themselves as the country’s biggest and most successful football club.
“It’s something that is still in its infancy but there are plans to set up a Biggie Zuze Foundation in honour of the late Dynamos player,” said an insider.
“Zuze was someone passionate about football and he left behind plans to establish and support a vibrant football academy, he had plans to pay school fees for the underprivileged in his hometown and as you know he had a building project of his family house which was about to finish.
“There was a lot that Biggie was doing and that must not be allowed to die with him. There must be a means to perpetuate his legacy. His family must be involved in all the programmes done under his name and at the same time benefit from it,” said the same official.
“Zuze was working as one of the club’s assistant coaches at the time of his death. The Harare giants played a big part during the funeral. DeMbare board chairman Bernard Lusengo-Marriot also confirmed the plans to support Zuze’s legacy.
“The club would like to confirm plans to ensure that the legacy of our late former player and coach Biggie Zuze lives on for posterity. Biggie had big dreams for the club and we should support his endeavours to make the game grow.
“We would like to work on ensuring that the dream lives on in memory and honour of Nzou,” said Lusengo-Marriot.
The DeMbare supremo also praised his club for the way they responded to the bereavement. Lusengo-Marriot said he was blown over by the unity demonstrated by the local football community. He lavished praises on the current DeMbare executive led by Harare banker Isaiah Mupfurutsa whom he compared to the late former club chairman Morrison Sifelani.
“Finally, we have found a chairman who is following in the footsteps of Morrison Sifelani. Gone are the days when Dynamos properties were attached by the office of the sheriff because of debts.
“You will never hear of that again; these guys are doing things the right way. The unity and quietness we have experienced in the last two years is unprecedented. I think we are blessed to have such a leadership. Get it from me, our chairman is the biblical Isaiah and we believe in him,” said Lusengo-Marriot.
Current and former Dynamos players showed strong unity during Zuze’s funeral. He was laid to rest in Bindura at Chiwaridzo Cemetery in Bindura last week.
Former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa, who was a teammate of Zuze, sent a moving eulogy in conversations with Herald Correspondent, Albert Marufu, in the UK at the weekend.
Biggie was a people’s person as shown by the response from Zimbabwe Legends and Friends (UK) and Dynamos legends the world over who managed to raise US$940 for his funeral.
“It is an understatement to say that news of his sudden death have shaken us as Dynamos family and I am still to come to terms with it. As Dynamos Old Boys Association (DOBA), we have a WhatsApp group which we use to check up on others and sadly, for the past few months Biggie had gone quiet and only a few weeks ago, we were joking with (former Dynamos team manager) Malcom Fourie that maybe we need to replace the handset the two of us bought him a few years ago.
“Biggie, just like Clayton Munemo, Angirayi Chapo and Moses Chunga who lived with us in Mufakose, was like a brother to me and helped me settle at Dynamos,” said Mucherahowa.
The UK-based former DeMbare midfield kingpin also said Zuze inspired a great many young players during his playing days. He has demonstrated this by working with the famous Dynamos “Kidznet” and also with junior academies like BN Academy.
“I remember when I got promoted to the senior team, and we were in the team bus travelling to my first training session with the senior team. I was sitting with Munemo and Biggie came and joined us.
“I was always following Clay (Munemo) those days, and, like a blood brother, he carried me on his shoulders. Biggie and David Mandigora told me what an offer it was to train with the senior team and they gave me words of advice.
“He taught me discipline. I could have been worse considering my background and where I had grown up. First training sessions with the senior team are always scary for any youngster and I was lucky to have people such as Biggie, Chunga, Mandigora and Munemo to handhold me.
“I immediately joined their group. I became part of the quartet that included Biggie, Clay and Allan Mapila. I was the youngest of the four so they would show me how it is done.
“The four of us used to work hard at training. At times coach Sunday (Chidzambwa) would halt the training sessions and ask everyone to observe the four of us. He would use us as the benchmark.
“Biggie used to joke that he taught me how to play football. In a way that was true. There is a certain skill of how to win a ball that I copied from him. I also copied his training methods and when I became one of the senior players, everyone wanted to train with me.
“Even when it came to buying clothes or furniture, it was Biggie who advised me. As a youngster, you do not have financial discipline and we often bought anything that comes along the way. Biggie would tell you not to waste money.
“Throughout my stay at Dynamos, I never saw Biggie quarrelling with anyone. He always enjoyed the banter,” said Mucherahowa. The Herald