IN recent years, the Harare derby between CAPS United and Dynamos has lost its splendour and luster.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
CAPS’ lethargy has allowed DeMbare’s supremacy to make the derby a one-team show. The play has been lacking sparkle, something that shortchanges fans, some of whom of late seemed to have opted to boycott the games.
Even media hype appeared to have failed to psyche the players into appreciating the magnitude of such a game.
This afternoon’s Premier Soccer League duel at the National Sports Stadium is likely to be no different, especially with the Fifa World Cup final coming up later on.
Passing by the popular Copacabana, Mbare bus terminus and other crowded places in Harare, there is no passion or the usual excitement evident about this derby.
Maybe only Murape Murape, a veteran of many derby confrontations, appears to understand its significance after he was quoted in some sections of the media last week challenging both sides’ players to get out of their shells and put up a splendid display for the fans’ value.
What can one expect when in any game Dynamos is capable of fielding almost an entire team whose players have traits of green blood?
Washington Pakamisa, Simba Sithole, Tafadzwa Rusike, Oscar Machapa, Stephen Alimenda and Clive Kawinga have all played for CAPS United before.
Three of them have highly questionable DNA after joining Dynamos not to die fighting for the Glamour Boys’ cause, but just to buy the spotlight and quickly return to South Africa.
Dynamos’ most successful captain Memory “Gwenzi Mwendamberi” Mucherahowa has challenged DeMbare to feel the need to beat United.
He predicted an improved display from both sides although he feels it would be Dynamos’ party once again.
“CAPS were the enemy of Dynamos in our time,” said Mucherahowa. “There should just be self-motivation when you play against CAPS. It was a thing we were born with and it was always there when we were playing for the juniors.
“This derby has been one-sided for years and I think CAPS have been playing well these days. I am sure this time they will put up a good fight and Dynamos shouldn’t take this game lightly. I would like Dynamos to win but they will have to be at their best. I think Dynamos will win this one 2-1.”
Mucherahowa is a childhood friend of CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro, who was also once his Dynamos teammate in the 1990s when the derby was a fiery contest. “If he wins this one, I will be happy for him though,” he said.
Since Easter Monday 2009, CAPS have failed to beat Dynamos. But this time around, there seems to be some belief in the Makepekepe camp that this could be their year.
Wild celebrations after CAPS 1-0 win over Dynamos in the ZNA Charity Shield semifinal match meant something. CAPS players and fans celebrated like they had won the World Cup and that could make them believe that Dynamos are invincible.
Former CAPS United defender Frank “The Dealer” Nyamukuta was part of the 1996 Championship-winning squad and like Mucherahowa, he feels derby nature calls for self-motivation.
“These derby games are the sort of games that build or break a player’s career,” said Nyamukuta. “A player’s performance in derby games will be remembered for a long time than any other games. Players do not need a coach to motivate them, but just the feeling that it is a derby.
“The chanting fans who always come in large numbers, should be enough to push players. So when you put on that special green jersey on Sunday [today], remember these things; building your career, the wonderful green machine fans and the three points.”