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Stanley Chirambadare turns to God

BY ALBERT MARUFU   FORMER Dynamos “problem child” Stanley Chirambadare was a unique player — he was popular with the fans but unpopular with the team’s executive members.

Hardly a season would pass without the former roving defender being red carded or suspended by his club for indiscipline, a feat that saw him missing out on the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar in a short career that spanned from 1986 to 1991.


However, he managed to win trophies that includes the Castle Cup, league championships (1989 and 1991) and the Independence Trophy in 1990.


Despite being an influential player, his behaviour made him a “rebel” and at one time he was suspended together with other players like Alois Godzi, Elvis “Chuchu” Chiweshe and Angirayi Chapo.


“I did my best for Dynamos and unfortunately most people saw a bad guy in me. I would even be suspended more than thrice in one season, either by the club or I would have earned a red card,” he said.


Spotting his trademark, an overgrown beard and afro hairstyle that made him look like the late Mozambican leader Samora Machel, the player, who was nicknamed “Samora” was indeed DeMbare’s problem child.


However, today Chirambadare is an antithesis of his former self, having decided to shed off that bad boy image in pursuit of serving God.


“Everyday one has to ask himself why he is worth such favours. I looked at myself and that is when I decided to serve God,” he said.


“In fact, it was in 1998 when my uncle died and we were to bury him in Gutu, Masvingo. I went there with my cigarettes and three bottles of brandy. I was too drunk to follow proceedings the whole evening, but in the morning the sermon from an army Chaplain touched me. That is how it all started. Before that aiva mahwani chaiwo because taive boys remafaro.”


His new belief found him in trouble with the Dynamos executive that fired him as assistant coach in 2003.


“One executive member (name supplied) came to me and asked which juju we were using and I showed him the bible. He was not happy and I lost my job at the club,” he said.

Chirambadare, who is now a Minister in Life Ministries church then sought to reach out to his former team mates through a programme he called “athletes in Action”.


“In 2003 we started evangelism through sports with a programme called Athletes in action. The main goal was to reach out to high-profile sports personalities.


“However, we were not successful in this regard as most of these players turned out for clubs that had a strong belief in juju. That is when I decided to concentrate on juniors who would not have been tainted by this strong belief in n’angas in 2009,” he said.


In 2009, Chirambadare formed a team called Revil which plays in the same league as Tamerand, Unity Harvesters, Ringmer, Child Protection Society.  “As a former player, it is imperative to give back to the community. These young boys can be described as a fatherless generation and they need our guidance.


“Mufakose is very rich in talent. We have had players such as Archford Chimutanda, Ernest Makosa, Moses Chunga, Gift “Ghetto” Mpariwa, Angirayi Chapo and Joel Shambo that all came from here.


“People should learn to give back to the community. Just look at the types of cars that come here especially during weekends.


“I am very happy with young Khama Billiat (Ajax Cape Town player). He is a good example of what these youths can achieve. Look, he is extending his grandparents’ home and everyone in his family is now wearing labels,” he said.


Chirambadare, who is the elder brother to Ernest and Shepherd, started his career as a Dynamos junior in 1981, but took to serious football in 1984 after completing his Advanced Level studies at Highfield Secondary School the same year.


“Back then, Dynamos had a very strong talent scouting policy which is not the case now. I got a job at the now Zimra in 1984 and graduated into first team in 1984,” said Chirambadare who worked at the now Zimra as a senior tax officer before retiring in 1996.


However, the presence of Oliver Kateya and Eddie Muchongwe meant little game time for the youngster.


“I went to play for Arcadia in 1986 and Mhofu called me back after only six months. It was just a short spell but the fans loved me at Arcadia and they are the ones who gave me the nickname “Samora.” I came back to my beloved Dynamos and started commanding the first team jersey. I quit in 1991 because I wanted to give young Pearson Matare a chance.


“I have faced a number of players, but Peter Ndlovu and Morgan Nkathazo were just something else,” he said reflecting on his career.