‘A big loss for local football’. . . late Zuze praised for leadership qualities
FORMER Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahohwa led the condolence messages yesterday as the football fraternity paid tribute to the late Glamour Boys’ assistant coach Biggie “Nzou” Zuze.
Zuze, 54, died on Thursday afternoon at a private clinic after experiencing difficulties in breathing.
As of yesterday, burial arrangements were not yet available as the family was still waiting for the postmortem results which were expected to be available this morning. Mourners are gathered at the Zuze family home in Stoneridge, Harare.
However, the proposed programme was for Zuze’s body to lie in state at his home this evening and the burial will be held tomorrow in Bindura.
Mucherahohwa, who played together with Zuze at the Glamour Boys in the 80s and 90s, was lost for words.
“You were a brother, a teammate, workmate and a friend. You guided me during my first days at Dynamos. You taught me discipline. You taught me how to be a leader. You used to joke about it but it was true,” Mucherahohwa told the Daily News from the United Kingdom.
“When I arrived at Dynamos, I think I was the youngest alongside Clayton Munemo, Allan Mapila and Biggie. So, every time we were always together. We went on to play together and our bond grew such that we became a family.
“He was such a nice guy; he would drop jokes here and there and would encourage us to push and work the extra mile. This is a big loss because especially for me, he was one of the guys who I looked up to.
“I learnt a lot from Biggie, especially my marking; he was such a good ball marker. It’s a huge loss, he was part of family.”
Former DeMbare team manager Malcolm Fourie, who is also based in the United Kingdom, paid tribute to Zuze in a Facebook post yesterday.
“My deepest sympathies to the Zuze family, the entire Dynamos family including supporters and the Zimbabwean soccer fraternity,” Fourie wrote.
“You were such a great friend, coach and teacher. I first met you through the late Oliver Kateya when you came to play for Dynamos FC and we became great friends.
“You and Munemo brought me into the Dynamos juniors in 1995 and taught me all that I know about football coaching as well as becoming a manager and am very thankful to you both.
“Even though I moved to the UK we still kept in touch. When I came home in February little did I know that would be our goodbyes. Go well my friend till we meet again in God’s kingdom.”
Zifa also sent their condolence message and described Zuze as a dedicated football man through and through.
“We convey our sincere condolences to his family, Dynamos Football Club, and the local football family at large. We cannot begin to imagine the amount of pain the tragic loss of a father, brother, uncle, colleague, coach and friend has brought,” Zifa said in a statement.
“Football has lost a loyal, dedicated and long-serving servant whose influence on many stakeholders of the game. Biggie’s big heart was just what our game needed, and with it he left his indelible stamp on the game. “In memory of his passion for the game, we can only continue developing it so that his lifelong passion thrives. May his soul rest in peace.”
Fellow top flight clubs Highlanders and FC Platinum also paid tribute to Zuze.
“The Highlanders FC board, executive, staff members, players and the greater Highlanders family, would like to take this opportunity to convey our condolences to the Zuze and Dynamos families following the sudden death of Biggie, a member of the Dynamos FC coaching staff and a DeMbare son of note,” Bosso said in a statement.
“In Zuze, football has lost a true sportsman and football teacher with a keen eye for young talent and youth football development. We will forever cherish the passion for his club, which he normally exhibited during our matches against Dynamos.”
Pure Platinum Play said: “We are saddened by the loss of…Zuze and extend our heartfelt condolences to the Zuze family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Former Zifa board member Bernard Gwarada, who worked with Zuze at Douglas Warriors, also paid tribute the former DeMbare midfielder.
“It’s a big loss to Zimbabwe football. What a great mentor he was. He was our coach at Douglas Warriors and I liked his cool approach,” Gwarada said.
“Of late, I interacted with him at BN Academy where he would come to motivate the school kids. His family has our support during this difficult time. Football is indeed poorer without Zuze.”