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Dynamos give Zimbabwe an unlikely success story

September 24, 2008

Lazarus scores for DynamosIn Zimbabwe people joke that when you join the queue to buy a ticket for a major football match, chances are the price will have gone up by the time you get to proffer your cash at the kiosk.

Rampant inflation in the southern African nation has robbed life of its conveniences, leading instead to shortages, blackouts and a set of bizarre daily rituals, like customers racing around the supermarket to keep up with the employees changing price tags.

The power sharing agreement signed by Robert Mugabe and his arch rival Morgan Tsvangirai was the first bit of good news in a long time for the beleaguered country; now there has been a second fillip as Zimbabwe’s most popular club have unexpectedly made it to the African Champions League semi-finals.

Dynamos have not been immune to the crisis in the country. Twice they have almost missed out on making away trips in the competition because they could not find enough foreign currency to pay for airline tickets.

They were forced to turn to fans and benefactors to scrape money together for trips to north Africa, eventually arriving just hours before the scheduled kick-off.

It has demanded a level of patience and tolerance from the players that few other footballers, in similar circumstances at the same level of a competition anywhere in the world, would ever be capable of.

But even the Dynamos squad has a limit and at the weekend there were threats of a strike as players haggled over bonus money … and just how much it would go up to keep pace with the ever-changing level of inflation.

Remarkably, 24 hours later they were overcoming Zamalek of Egypt in Harare to win their last group match and ensure progress to the semi-finals of the continent’s top club competition.

Dynamos were surprise Champions League finalists a decade ago but had not played in the competition since. Now back, they are again threatening to dispel all the accepted norms of success in the game.

Sometimes adversity provides the fuel which drives players to extraordinary feats and given the cricumstances this is some achievement.

Mark Gleeson covers the African Champions League for Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Lazarus Muhoni celebrates scoring for Dynamos against Al Ahly during their African Champions League soccer match in Cairo Stadium, August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Amr Dalsh

Comments

I am a journalist in Zimbabwe – I just want to point out some factual error in the article by Mark Gleeson. There was never a time that Dynamos arrived just hours before kick-off. That is a blatant lie. Zimbabwe has problems but they did nt go that far. Dynamos on both sojourns to North Africa spent at least a day in the country of host.
The two games were apart – Dynamos only contemplated on looking for a training camp in Cairo after the first game. Zim Embassy organised that as that was going to save costs but eventually the team flew out and return NOT HOURS before the kick off. I have greast respect for Reuters. I must confess that I enjoyed the intro of the article. It is factual correct, I must say.

Posted by Columbus S. Mavhunga | Report as abusive
 

Sorry replace my earlier comment with the following. I had omitted some words….
Regards.
I am a journalist in Zimbabwe – I just want to point out some factual error in the article by Mark Gleeson. There was never a time that Dynamos arrived just hours before kick-off. That is a blatant lie. Zimbabwe has problems but they did nt go that far. Dynamos on both sojourns to North Africa spent at least a day in Egypt.
The two games were a week apart – Dynamos only contemplated on looking for a training camp in Cairo after the first game. Zim Embassy in Egypt organised that as that was going to save costs but eventually the team flew out and return NOT HOURS before the kick off. I have greast respect for Reuters. I must confess that I enjoyed the intro of the article. It is factual correct, I must say.

Posted by Columbus S. Mavhunga | Report as abusive
 

It is quite refreshing to note that Dynamos’ performance is making headlines the world over. Being a Zimbabwean, i’m naturally flattered with the results that this great team from Southern Africa is attaining. Mark’s contribution above is a true reflection of how people sympathise with us as Zimbabweans. Indeed Zim may be going through trying times, but these phases will definitely come to pass. Zimbabwe is a great nation, with great people and tourist attraction centers that are quite a marvel to watch. Coming to Dynamos, I wish to congratulate the Glamour Boys for the job well done in flying our flag. We now have something to cheers for and I sincerely hope this fairlytale run will end with Dembare lifting the title. Everything is possible if ONLY we believe. In the Dynamos team we have an epitome of believers. I predict Dynamos in the finals again. On whether the team will win the trophy, i can’t say and i don’t want to commit sayin so. But one thing for sure is that the entire team is very serious and we are seeing that commitment in their dazzling style of play. I hope Mark will also not get tired writing teams like Dynamos on cyberspace. Thanks Mark and I can’t wait for another contribution regarding Dynamos. Finally, to all soccer loving Zimbabweans, let’s rally behind the glamour boys.

Always Zimbabwean and a proud one for that matter

Darlington wekuRengwe

Posted by Dalala Mumiriki | Report as abusive
 

I agree with the other contributor that Dynamos have never arrived for a match “just hours” before kick-off. As so many things about the Zimbabwean situation hyberbole seems to trump the facts on the ground, however there is no denying that the boys in blue have indeed overcome tremendous odds to make this far in the continental showpiece. It’s a credit to their resolve and symbolic of the resolve of the people of Zimbabwe. Fair play to DeMbare and I wish them all the luck in the final!!

Posted by Brian Gondo | Report as abusive
 

Well Done to the Boys in Blue from a long lost supporter. I remember when I was so young going to Gwanzura and Rufaro with my father to see Dembare playing against Highlanders, Zimbabwe saints, Caps United and others.

I also remember Shaya, whom we went to church with and his family, and also Moses Chunga, who lived a stone’s throw from my house. May the younger boys continue to shine for Zimbabwe.

My father, like many who support Dynamos, must be one happy man. Well done boys.

 

so far so good but we all hope that the divisions that always threaten to tear the team apart do not resurface now there is the expected windfall from qualifying into the semis. we expect the usual sharks always waiting on the sidelines, waiting to pounce by offering the players a share of the forex to be paid out. we would not be surprised if the players boycott training due to unpaid bonuses/wages. and we hope the jostling for positions in the executive will not derail the teams campaign.

Posted by a budiyo | Report as abusive
 

Well done Dynamous, guys like you becomes the cause to create desire to watch match like this. i strongly appreciate your efforts.

thanks

 

The introduction, to me, is just there to dilute the great success of the team from the country most hated by some. I shudder to think what Reuters articles will look like if stories of successful sports teams are mirrored against their country experiences. There are several successful sports teams hailing from troubled countries – be it Brazil, Argentina, Italy,Columbia, Cote d’Ivore, S.Africa,Pakistan, Sri Lanka, you name it – but NEVER have we seen them being evaluated against their countries’ challenges – why De Mbare?
A fair analysis would have concentrated on the team’s exploits in the field of play. Dynamos deserve rave reviews devoid of Zimbabwe’ s challenges. The team did Zimbabwe proud and i believe they are not finished yet.
I am a staunch supporter of Dynamos’ rivals, CAPS UTD, but that could not stop me from singing my voice hoarse in support of our sports ambassadors. Dynamos has shown the world there is something positive about Zimbabwe, its not all gloom.
Go Glamour Boys Go!

Posted by Kepekepe Magwaza | Report as abusive
 

Congrats for DeBoyz. that was impressive and just to let people know that Zim is dead politically but alive with potential… we are the people and happy for you dembare supporter

Posted by Lovemore | Report as abusive
 

i am a highlanders supporter but i emulate what dembare has done for zimbabwe iw ish if they can bring that trophy to southern africa so that it will be the start of the world cup 2010. keep the ball rolling amadembare we will rally behind you during your last campaign

madzibaba tindo wekuharare

 

I love seeing stories like this they are always so inspirational.

http://www.soccershop.com

 

Good morning everybody. It is so very good to be back contributing to the Dynamos issue in the build up to the semi-finals of the CAF MTN Champions League next week. Some of us enjoy soccer so much that we take every opportunity availed to us to express our opinions regarding the beautiful game. Dembare has done me proud as a Zimbabwean and hopefully done many proud as well. I’m extremely hopeful that the team will continue felling them. The bigger they are the harder they will certainly fall. It is not very difficult to inspire this team because nobody ever gave them a chance to progress this far, but their performance to date has caught the eyes of soccer supporters across the board. Well done to all you Caps United, Highlanders and all other soccer loving people of Zimbabwe. You have shown unparalleled maturity in support of a national cause. We may be rivals at home, but where our beautiful motherland is concerned we are ONE in defending this great cause. Well done guys. Soccer unites people and that is the reason why today Dynamos players and management are heroes in our struggle for a place in this World.

Darlington wekuRengwe.

Posted by Dalala Mumiriki | Report as abusive
 

When dynamos knocked out etoile do sahel,i remember one nigerian fan said it was a flash in the pan-jus wonder if he’s stil counting -de mbare rocks

Posted by Sydney chigwenjere | Report as abusive
 

Guys , I am a staunch supporter of the Blue & White team, the article written by mark is not true at all. I know some of these white people do not want to see us africans prospering, if Dembare DeCabinet was a club from west, they could be writing diffent stories, shame on you biased reporters. Dembare, Decabinet ndizvo mufinal.

Shame on you Mark

 

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