By Anesu Chakanetsa
ON January 18 1963, Dynamos Football Club was born.
Over the years, the nation’s biggest team has had its highs and lows.
Currently, they seem to be suffering from the latter phenomenon, especially for the past five-or-so years
In January alone, Dynamos made 10 new signings (and counting) to bolster their squad for the upcoming season.
And social media has been awash with negative criticism about the approach the team has been taking for these past five years.
At one point, Dynamos recruited players through open trials, something which was popular with academies and teams playing in lower divisions.
This is a team that, for its long existence, has always relied on its junior policy for backup; or even having the whole first team.
Is the new gaffer, Herbert Marowa, building a Dynamos that will make the 60 years celebration a great success?
That remains to be seen.
In 2012, Dynamos celebrated its 50 years in style, scooping a double, the League and the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Coached then by Kalisto Pasuwa, Dynamos boasted the young and promising talent of Denver Mukamba, Archieford Gutu and Roderick Mutuma, among others, and popularised the ‘zora butter’ celebration.
A year before, they had begun a campaign that took four years, ending in 2014.
Dynamos scooped the Zimbabwe Premier League trophy for four consecutive years from 2011-2014.
Well that’s too recent a historical statistic.
It was not the first time Dynamos had done such a campaign.
The team was not doomed from its inception.
Dynamos is regarded as the biggest team in Zimbabwe because of its Premier League honours.
Founded in 1963 after a merger between two lesser teams in Mbare, Harare Township, Rhodesia, Dynamos quickly became one of the strongest sides in the Rhodesian league, and by the attainment of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, had become the country’s most successful football team, having won six national championships.
Dynamos have since won 22 league championships – a national record – and are, at least, 16 trophy/cup holders.
On January 18 2022, Dynamos celebrated its existence of 60 years with just a tweet: “18 January 1963 Dynamos was formed. Happy 60th birthday DeMbare.”
Well, is that enough for a team that has produced arguably Zimbabwe’s finest.
A team which had a man who still holds the record for the most honours, that is soccer star-of-the-year award.
The late George Shaya, in the 1960s and 1970s was the talking point when it came to football.
Consistently performing well at club level, Shaya was named Rhodesian Soccer Star-of-the-Year a record five times, including the inaugural award in 1969.
He was also part of the Rhodesia side which unsuccessfully attempted to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in 1969.
He was chairman when the club became the first ever Zimbabwean team to grace a Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League final against Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast
But chicanery carried the day for our detractors.
After Shaya came Moses Chunga, who dazzled in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In 1986, he scored a lucrative 46 goals in the Premier league, which still holds the record for the most goals scored in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League.
Besides scoring, Chunga was a daring dribbler and a master passer of the ball.
Chunga is so passionate about DeMbare that he now and then criticises each and every evil that has bedevilled the club for the past 10-or-so years.
Misheck Chidzambwa, the first captain to lift silverware with the national team at the 1985 CECAFA tournament was also from Dynamos.
He went on to win the COSAFA cup as a coach in 2000.
His brother, Sunday Chidzambwa, a Dynamos son, became the first Zimbabwean coach to take the country to its maiden Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He also took the team to the 2019 edition in Egypt.
Meanwhile, after taking Dynamos through a successful four-year PSL championship campaign, from 2011 to 2014, Pasuwa also took the Warriors to the 2017 AFCON.
So, in three of the five AFCON campaigns Zimbabwe has graced, two Dynamos sons took charge.
Another Dynamos son, David Mandigora, took the team all the way to the CAF Champions League semi-final against Cotton Sport Garoua of Cameroon.
West Africans were at it again, playing evil cards against Dynamos.
The first export to Europe, Freddy Mkwesha, was from Dynamos.
He joined Sporting De Braga in October 1965 and stayed there for 17 years.
He was one of the founding members of Dynamos in 1963.
And there is a plethora of statistics about the greatness of DeMbare and its contribution to Zimbabwean soccer for the past 60 years.
But it was a low key celebration of just a tweet that supposedly covers all this rich history.
Perhaps the glamour boys and their paymaster forgot that it is always good to celebrate the great times and achievements.
Sixty years is no joke!