Africa’s football twins

WHEN DAYS WERE GOOD . . . This classic 1989 picture, captured by photographer July Shamu, shows a powerful Dynamos side, just before leaving for an away match. This was a golden period for the Glamour Boys when they won seven out of 10 league championships competed for after Independence

Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
THEY are Africa’s ultimate football twins, founded in the same year in 1963, and one is on the move – powered by a five-year strategic plan which will see investment into developments at their stadium, wooing more corporate partners and boosting their fan base across the continent.

The other, sadly, remains trapped in the past, decimated by a vision-less leadership plucked from hell, and in their meetings, its founding fathers discuss a stove and a fridge as key assets for the club, the production of a magazine and repeat calls for the members to avoid rumour-mongering.

Meet Dynamos and Kampala Capital City Authority – the twins of African football, so much in common between them, so much difference in the way their paths have been shaping, in recent years.

Both were founded in 1963, with two men who shared the name Sam playing instrumental roles in the exercise – one of them was the head of the Sewage Works at the Kampala City Council, the other a credit controller at a Harare furniture shop.

They are both late, now, but the legacy they left behind lives on – one a thriving football club in Uganda, which continues to grow from strength to strength, the other a fading giant in Harare which has is being destroyed by a leadership still engrossed in the Swinging Sixties.

While Sam Wahala, who as head of the Sewage Works in Kampala masterminded the formation of KCCA, known back then as Kampala City Council, might be at peace with himself in his grave today, the same cannot be said of the late Sam Dauya, the brains behind the founding of DeMbare.

KCCA have just sealed their 13th Ugandan Premiership crown, their third in the last four seasons, while DeMbare are staggering in the darkness, without a league championship in the last five years and their coach suggesting this week it’s unlikely to be won this season either.

Last week, the Glamour Boys made their seventh coaching change, in the last four years, when they rehired Tonderai Ndiraya in yet another graphic illustration of the turmoil at the club while, during the same period, KCCA have stuck with one coach, Mike Mutebi, who has delivered three league titles in four seasons.

Thirty five years ago, the two clubs clashed in the second round of the CAF Champions League, then known as the Cup of Club Champions, and the first leg in Kampala ended in a goalless draw before DeMbare roared at home to edge a tight contest 2-1 at Rufaro.  KCCA will be back in the next Champions League campaign, after winning the Ugandan championship again, but Dynamos will not be part of the show, for the fifth consecutive season, as the Glamour Boys, who used to be regular participants in this show, now battle relegation at home.

And, just one glance at the revolution at KCCA can tell you everything wrong about what is unfolding at Dynamos, or what is left of this skeleton of what used to be the Glamour Boys.

KCCA have a store where their fans can even go online and buy official club caps, water bottles, mugs and home and away kits.

The Ugandan champions even offer season tickets to their supporters in line with a system that is used by many professional clubs around the world.

They have their own training ground and they also have their stadium, which used to be called the Phillip Omondi Stadium, in honour of the greatest player to ever feature for the Ugandan giants.

The stadium, situated along Jinja Road/Kampala Road, has a capacity of 10 000 and an artificial surface and now has been branded with naming rights, which has seen it being renamed Startimes Stadium, and it is being developed further as part of the club’s five-year strategic plan unveiled last year.

The strategic plan, running until 2022, is aimed at empowering KCCA to undertake deliberate actions towards becoming ‘’Africa’s leading football club, with everything anchored on building a strong brand, an excellent technical department, bringing in competent administrators, wooing more sponsors, boosting a strong fan base, improving the financial management systems, enhancing presence in the CAF inter-club competitions and having strong junior structures.’’

KCCA have a number of sponsors like MTN, who are their partner through the MoMo payment system, StarTimes, Primemedia Network, Vivo Energy, Britam Insurance Company, to name but a few of their major backers.

The club is a private company owned by the Kampala City Council Authority and derives its finances from grants, sponsors and a host of other revenue streams and the current chairman, Aggrey Asaba, is a top businessman with interests in oil and gas, mining, real estate, education, health and music.

Let’s now look at Dynamos from a position agreed at the annual meeting of the Electoral Colleage on February 25, 2007, at the offices the Glamour Boys used to rent at 18 Buckingham Road in Eastlea, Harare.

The meeting was attended by the likes of Richard Chiminya, the late chairman of the board of directors, the late Freddie Mkwesha, George Shaya, Jairos Banda, Nathan Maziti, Sunday Chidzambwa, Charles Gwatidzo, Simon Sachiti, Cremio Mapfumo, Richard Chihoro and Bernard Chidziva.

‘‘The chairman went down memory lane painting a painful picture of how they struggled and battled to have the club handed back to them,’’ reads the official minutes of that indaba.

‘‘Sponsors like Innscor, through the Baker’s Inn brand and Savanna Tobacco, were not too trusting during the early days and attached too many strings to their aid (check the language, where others see sponsorship, all what these old men see is aid).

‘‘However, the outlook is looking brighter right now. Some club assets like the fridge and stove were recovered and are now at the new rented offices in Eastlea. The meeting expressed their appreciation to Chiminya, Kashangura and Chidzambwa for furnishing the club offices.

‘‘Production of magazine – the chairman will report on this issue after further investigations. Twinning – Mr Chidzambwa to follow up on the issue of twinning with Valencia FC of Spain in conjunction with (Susan) Chivizhe, (Karikoga) Kaseke of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Hon. Minister Shamu and report to the College mee

ting in view of 2010 bonanza in South Africa.

‘‘The assembly expressed the need for all members to (a) remain focused at business at hand, remain united and avoid rumour mongering. There being no other business the meeting ended at 15.20 hours with a closing prayer by Mr Chidzambwa.’’

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