DYNAMOS fans still refer to their championship winning coach Kallisto Pasuwa as “Ras” but to his fellow Johane Masowe eChishanu sect members, he is “Madzibaba Pasuwa”.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Ras is a term used by Rastafarians, and in Pasuwa, the fans still see that talented dreadlocked midfielder who was not only a menace in the soccer field, but in the society too.
Pasuwa, now 39 years old, was a regular visitor at police cells owing to violent behaviour during his playing days.
But today, that same lean frame now offers the other cheek when provoked.
Consecutively, Pasuwa has won the league championship and Mbada Diamonds Cup, but remains unassertive, a far cry from the player who made Chitungwiza Police Station his next home during his playing days.
“My life was a mess before turning to God. I neither drank beer nor smoked, but hardly a week would pass without being arrested. At one point I was nearly jailed after beating up a war veteran,” said Pasuwa shaking his head.
“Even at my former workplace, Fredrieck Sage, where I was a foreman, I used to beat up workers hence the nickname “Manabhundu.” Peter Fanuel was friends with my workmate Daniel D’Souza who had the same nickname and equally ill-treated subordinates. That is how he gave me that nickname.”
The turning point in his life came in 2003 when his youngest daughter fell sick.
“When one of my three kids fell sick in 2003, a guy called Clever Denere invited me to the church and that is when my life took a positive turn. Together with Masimba Dinyero and Lloyd Mutasa we started going to that church with our families seriously. Since then my family is very happy.”
“Before that, everything was just not working for me. I lost more than 15 taxi cars. I also bought three houses, but they had been sold to other people. The courts would tell us to go and live together at the house and I would just turn my back,” said Pasuwa who quit Dynamos in 2002 after then coach Moses “Bambo” Chunga decided to get rid of the old guard.
Pasuwa, whose 13-year-old son Kenneth is in the Aces Youth Soccer Academy juniors, said the church taught him to be tolerant of other people’s views and this has helped him in his coaching career.
“Chinamato chakandipa direction [the church gave me direction]. I have since learnt to be humble and this has helped me relate to the players, supporters and even the executive,” said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa speaks on Bosso
PASUWA however, revealed that Highlanders could not have stretched Dynamos to the last game of the season had people pulled in the same direction right from the start.
“There were some people who thought my contract was not going to be extended after December. They wanted me out of the team in January even though I had won the championship as well as the Mbada Diamonds Cup. At one time I wanted to quit, but Moses Chunga advised me against the idea.
“Even when the season started, I kept getting ultimatums. I was even supposed to be fired after the Champions League loss to Interclube had it not been for Cuthbert Chitima and chairman Keni Mubaiwa,” he said.
I did not sign any player — Coach
On allegations that he did not use certain players because they were imposed on him by the executive, Pasuwa was dismissive.
“I did not sign any player at Dynamos and that is what I told all the players on my first meeting with them this year. The executive signed some players during the time when we were negotiating the new contract because the window period was coming to an end,” he said.
Pasuwa, who also had stints at Sporting Lions and Kiglon working with Lloyd Mutasa and Masimba Dinyero, denied that he back-stabbed the duo by accepting the job to coach Dynamos following their sacking.
“Lloyd invited me to join Dynamos, but the then Farai Munetsi-led executive offered me a contract that was way below what some of the players were earning.
“It is not that I wanted money, but once a player knows that he earns more than the coach, it will be difficult to discipline him. This is what I tried to explain to them, but they ignored me,” he said.
Now a proud owner of properties in Chitungwiza and Masvingo that he acquired after his playing days, Pasuwa also talked about his unhappy stint at CAPS United where he was an assistant coach to Chunga.
“Things did not work out at CAPS united. The head coach Chunga was being paid by Farai Jere while other members of the technical team were paid by CAPS United. The money was not enough and I ended up asking Bambo for financial help, which was not fair at all. I am still owed money amounting to US$1 350 by the club and have since written it off,” said Pasuwa. Plucked from Division Two side Scrinton in 1992 by the late Morrison Sifelani, Pasuwa got his break into the first team at Dynamos.
“I remained at Sifelani’s Dynamos FC together with Memory Mucherahowa and Clayton Munemo. Then coach Bob Lines gave me my first game against Black Mambas in 1993 and we lost the match because Dinyero was such a brilliant player.
“My first full game was against Highlanders in 1993 and I scored, but the goal was attributed to Tauya Murewa. I have very fond memories of Dynamos as we travelled around Africa playing in the Champions League. As players, we did not benefit financially because the executive did not give us what would have been promised,” he said.
However, despite winning the major trophies with the country’s biggest club, Pasuwa said he is not yet ripe to coach the national team.
“I have been a head coach for two seasons and need at least two more years to learn the ropes despite winning the championship,” he said.