By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos superfan, Michael “Chuchu’’ Chindowa, has stood by his Glamour Boys in good and bad times over the last five decades.
He is not changing that anytime soon.
“Dynamos have not won the title in six years but I cannot lose hope,’’ he told The Saturday Herald.
“Imagine a club like Liverpool, it took them 30 years to win the English title. When their time came, nobody stopped them.
“That is what football is like.
“Hopefully, it will not be that long for Dynamos. I personally expect the team to return to its winning ways when football resumes.”
DeMbare, who are the country’s biggest and most successful football club with 21 league titles, last bagged gold during Callisto Pasuwa’s magical four-year spell between 2011 and 2014.
But the quality of the team has been on a downward spiral ever since.
The last few years have bordered between the comical and the catastrophic, both on and off the pitch.
Chicken Inn and FC Platinum have seized the opportunity and have been dominating the domestic football scene, thanks to the backing of their corporate partners, and their professional management styles.
However, there have been encouraging signs of orders creeping back at DemBare.
The club leadership, led by Harare banker Isaiah Mupfurutsa, managed to rope in cigarette manufacturing company, Remington Gold, as their principal sponsors.
“This team has brought us joy over the years and, for that reason, I will support Dynamos till I die,” said Chuchu.
“Of course, the likes of FC Platinum have come and dominated the last few seasons.
“But for us, everything goes back to the team leadership, they should look into their systems.
“Firstly, unity is needed and stability, as well, especially in our coaching department.
“We cannot win anything with a situation where a coach is appointed today and tomorrow he is fired.
“Right now we have Tonderayi Ndiraya, he has to be given all the support to win things.
“He was here before and he finished second. Unfortunately, he was sacked. He will be given time to lead this side.
“I have confidence that Dynamos will lift the title in the coming season.”
Chuchu was disappointed when football failed to get underway this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 1973, when he arrived in Harare for the first time from his rural area of Mhondoro-Ngezi, he says he does not remember missing a league game featuring his beloved Dynamos at their Rufaro fortress.
The 65-year-old is always a standout figure at the stadium in his trademark blue suit, accompanied by matching big-frame spectacles, a vuvuzela and a loud cowbell in hand.
His undying love for the Glamour Boys started five decades ago and he has committed his life, and loyalty, to their cause.
“I feel happy to be part of the Dynamos family. I used to follow the team’s football commentaries on radio, as a young boy and, when I relocated to Harare in 1973 from Mhondoro-Ngezi, I took up great interest in their live matches.
“Members of the supporters’ club saw that I was deeply committed and they co-opted me into their meetings.
‘’I became part and parcel of the bigger group and we travelled with the team everywhere.
“I wanted to see my favourite players like George Shaya, Shaw Handriade, David George and Daniel ‘Dhidhidhi’ Ncube.
“They played as a unit and produced good results.”
Chuchu has seen many generations of players come and go and this has strengthened his love for the club.
“I have seen many generations of Dynamos teams and these guys always gave me happiness,’’ he said.
“After Shaya’s group had gone, came the likes of David Mandigora, Edward Katsvere and Hamid Dhana.
“There was also another group later on that had Francis Shonhayi, Claudius Zviripayi and Elvis ‘Chuchu’ Chiweshe.
“I was nicknamed Chuchu after Chiweshe by the supporters because I used to run around at Rufaro with a placard written ‘Hokoyo naChuchu’.
“He was our dead ball specialist and was always reliable from those free-kick situations.’’
Unlike the majority of fans who support him from the terraces, the 65-year old has defied age and is always running with the flow of play whenever Dynamos are in action.
People might have wondered where such a devout Catholic, who always finds time for church before going to Rufaro in the afternoon, gets his energy reserves from.
“It started long back. Whenever Dynamos was playing I could feel my blood literally running from my toes to my head and back, and I found myself running.
“That is why I cannot sit down for the whole 90 minutes.
“I always feel a lot of energy when I get into the stadium and I tell myself that I will only rest when I get home.
‘’It has been like that for many years.
“I think I still have energy. My golden rule is that I don’t watch Dynamos matches on television.
‘’I can only watch the matches on television when they are out of the country.
“As long as they are playing here in Zimbabwe, I always make an effort to travel with the help of the supporters’ executive. They also don’t want to miss me a match.
“Even if it means travelling throughout the night, I don’t have a problem. We always have to be with the team always. These guys (the players) also feel energised when they see us in the stadium.’’
He said something, though, has changed.
“These days I regard myself as a solo supporter,’’ he said.
“I always avoid groups because some of the people use foul language and are always shouting obscenities at the players.
“I avoid such people and the supporters who abuse players when they make mistakes.
“No one is perfect, so we have to encourage these guys when the chips are down instead of shouting at them.
“I am a religious man, I always strive to stay away from bad things, in keeping with my church teachings.’’ The Herald