Sharuko on Saturday
FOR the Bosso fans, nothing — absolutely nothing — beats the great feeling that comes with defeating their biggest rivals, DeMbare at Rufaro, the stadium, which for these Glamour Boys is more than just a special home, but also a fortress.
The ecstasy generated by confronting the old enemy in their backyard and leaving them licking the wounds of defeat, their reputation in tatters, their pride severely shattered, their ego significantly dented, their fans in a daze and their establishment in chaos is simply priceless.
Something that no amount of money can buy and for those lucky enough to be witnesses from the visitors stand at this spiritual home of domestic football, the joy generated from seeing this drama unfold from the ringside is simply magical.
Whoever decided that the away fans at Rufaro should be housed on the City End of this stadium, which gives them a very good view of the Mbare neighbourhood, the home of these Glamour Boys, which they would have invaded and conquered, was certainly not a friend of DeMbare.
And, just across the road from where this visitors’ bay sits is the Mbare cemetery and on the occasions the invading football armies go to Rufaro and conquer — their delirious army of travelling fans find it irresistible to send messages to those in Vietnam and other parts of this old stadium, that they have just buried these Glamour Boys. And, for generations of Bosso fans at home and across the world there is no victory that tastes sweeter than punching these Glamour Boys into submission, especially at Rufaro, a stadium consistent with some of the greatest success stories which DeMbare have written in their 55-year history. It was no surprise then that, soon after the result from Rufaro on Easter Monday was confirmed, Twitter and Facebook exploded with Bosso fans scattered around the globe invading it in grand style and celebrations.
A colleague told me an impromptu party, which went well into the early hours of Tuesday was thrown by some delirious Bosso fans in Johannesburg, where even some fireworks exploded as part of the celebrations, while some guys in Leeds, England went on a drinking spree that night.
At a shebeen in Bulawayo, they told me a hostess surprised her patrons with some free rounds of beer soon after word emerged that Madinda Ndlovu and his men had tamed the old enemy in its backyard, on that Easter Monday.
Bosso, just like every football club and institution has its dark side, the violence that usually erupts at Barbourfields on the occasions some hooligans feel this club has been given a raw deal by some match officials is a cancer that should be eradicated.
The tendency by some of the club’s fans to find refuge in tribalism to the extent of mocking their rivals as dogs as displayed on that poster by that shameless supporter who was captured by our cameras finding so much pride in displaying his sickening message is also a cancer which has blighted the reputation of this great institution.
Of course, they are not alone in this, because there are some Dynamos fans who also revel in tribalism and use it as a weapon to mock their Bosso counterparts every time the two football giants clash and we even hear it in some of the songs which are just unacceptable and it’s a cancer that should also be dealt with by the Glamour Boys.
Regrettably, it’s something that is not limited to our football, but is prevalent in other major leagues where it’s common to hear some Liverpool fans singing, mocking their Manchester United counterparts for the death of their players in that Munich plane crash in 1958.
“Who’s that dying on the runway? Who’s that dying in the snow? It’s Matt Busby and his boys making such a f****** noise cos they can’t get their aeroplane to go,” goes the vile Liverpool fans’ chant about that disaster.
And then you also get some United fans responding by taunting their Liverpool rivals with sickening chants that mock the death of those 96 fans who went to Sheffield to support their beloved Reds in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, but never came back home to tell their story after being crushed in a stampede in one of the darkest days in English football.
“Who’s that choking, who’s that turning f*****g blue, it’s a Scoucer and his mate crushed the Hillsborough gates and they won’t be singing Munich anymore, The Sun were right, you’re murderers,” is the response that comes from the United end.
Apparently, The Sun, the biggest selling daily newspaper in Britain ran a front page story saying that some Liverpool fans went on a pickpocketing rampage, stealing from those who were dying at Hillsborough that day, instead of helping out.
The newspaper has since repeatedly apologised for this monumental gaffe, but it remains banned in certain parts of Liverpool and some of the club’s fans never care to read it. Then those vile chants from those Tottenham fans who turned on Sol Campbell after he chose to dump them and, of all teams, moved to Arsenal:
“Sol, Sol, wherever you may be, You’re on the verge of lunacy. And we don’t give a f*** if you’re hanging from a tree, You Judas c**t with HIV.’’
But, while the negativity is sickening, this game also provides us with its beautiful side and you are unlikely to get a better party atmosphere in this country like the one that comes on the occasions that the Bosso family unite to toast a victory over DeMbare — especially one that would have been posted at Rufaro. And, on Easter Monday, that was the case.
A FIERCE RIVALRY THAT WAS CERTAINLY MADE IN HEAVEN
IF Dynamos are the soul of Zimbabwean football then Highlanders are definitely the heart of the game in this country.
The two giants are our domestic version of the intense rivalry that exists between Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid, who like Dynamos are from the capital and are seen as representative of the establishment and Barcelona, who like Bosso, are seen as being representative of the fight against domination by the powerful.
It’s a titanic collision of identity, passion, pride, egos, history and of a rivalry that knows no bounds and former Bosso’s Dutch coach Erol Akbay once told me of the shock he received when one of the team’s fans praised him for making his season, just by completing a double over DeMbare and even if they were to lose the championship race, it was not going to matter much.
Bosso and DeMbare, as much as they are the biggest rivals, who do not like each other are also made for each other and without the other in the league, it won’t feel the same, there will be an emptiness to a lot of things. It’s like Real Madrid without Barcelona in La Liga, without El Clasico, something will definitely be lacking and whatever success won’t feel the same.
“The relationship between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is one of symbiotic antipathy,” said Phil Ball, author of ‘Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football.’ “THEY ARE DEADLY ENEMIES, BUT THEY FEED OFF EACH OTHER. IF ONE OF THEM WENT, THE OTHER WOULD DIE.
“The whole Barça-Real Madrid rivalry reflects the cultural and political history of Spain in a very accurate fashion,” said Ball.
“People listen to the sportspeople at these clubs on the same level as the political leaders. If you’re twisting the microscope and get down to the core of those clubs, then they represent the two poles of Spanish society.
“The core values of the clubs are the core values of the political forces in Madrid and Barcelona.”
He could have been speaking about the rivalry between DeMbare and Bosso, in his analysis and he would have been correct.
FOR BOSSO, NOTHING GETS
BETTER THAN THIS
Bosso haven’t won the championship for a dozen years, their last triumph coming in 2006 under the tutelage of Methembe Ndlovu, they have been absent from the CAF Champions League for 11 years now since losing to Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly 0-2 in the first round in 2007.
These 12 years, in which the Bulawayo giants have been on their fruitless mission to try and win the league title, represent the longest barren spell — in the era of the modern Premiership — for this iconic football club to march on without being crowned champions. That is double the six years they went without winning the championship between 1993, when they captured the first title in the era of the modern Premiership and 1999 when they added another title during a golden period at the turn of the millennium in which they won four straight titles on the bounce.
But, for all their failings in the past dozen years, when it comes to winning the one prize that matters the most on the domestic scene, they have refused to let that cloud the sweetness that comes with beating the old enemy called Dynamos and on the occasions that they do that, the party they put together is out of this world.
You have to give it to them, for the way they value this great rivalry — which in itself can also be seen as a mark of respect for their greatest rivals — and when Bosso are partying, after beating Dynamos, especially in Harare, it paints the domestic game’s most beautiful picture.
It’s so lovely, so captivating — the dances, songs, the camaraderie among fans, the unity it brings to their large family, the joy it brings to their house and, for those hours, nothing else in life matters, everything takes a back seat and this partying becomes the be-all-and-end-all of their lives.
My Dynamos and Liverpool-supporting colleague, Spencer Manguwa, of that now famous prediction that FC Platinum would be crowned champions last year with a two-point cushion over his favourite club — an analysis he made with seven games still to be played last season and which somehow came to pass — concedes that for all his love of the Glamour Boys, what he can’t take away from Bosso is their ability to create a carnival of happiness, especially when they are winning against his team.
Which was the case at Rufaro on Easter Monday when they came to the capital and floored their greatest rivals with one punch from the Wizard of Oz, Ozias Zibande, who is seemingly perfecting the art of scoring decisive goals that suck the life out of clubs from Harare this season.
There is a lot that was repulsive about DeMbare’s lifeless show, which sadly appears to have become the norm as Lloyd Mutasa’s experiment with his rookies undergoes a severe test which, if things don’t improve, might cost him his job, amid this wave of rebellion from some fans against their leadership.
It’s been discussed in detail all week, but in that narration of how Dynamos have become so poor, so pathetic, so lifeless, so hopeless, so reckless in possession, so leaderless — both on the pitch and on the bench — so careless in approach, it would be unfair not to acknowledge that there was a winner at Rufaro on Easter Monday.
It might not have been a classic, but these battles, with so much hanging on the outcome, hardly produce classics because no one wants to express himself for fear of being the one who makes the fatal mistake that will be remembered for years.
But it produced a winner, in the form of a Bosso side which Madinda has vowed to recreate in the version of the Highlanders teams which he used to know, which he used to play for, which played without fear, which played football cognisant of the fact they were representing a people for whom this was more than a football club, but a way of life and which — even when the opponent was superior — would find a way to punch above their weight to try and win that duel.
Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, one league victory over the old enemy doesn’t make a successful season and Madinda knows that tougher challenges, than this out-of-sorts Dynamos, will come along the way and crucially, with victories like the one they posted on Easter Monday, also comes with a bigger burden of expectations from the fans.
Well, that can wait for another day, another week, another month for now, let Bosso enjoy the spoils of their special victory and seeing all those happy people at home and across the world delighted by what they achieved on Easter Monday, makes one gets a good picture of the value of their achievement and what it means to their fans.
Enjoy it, while it lasts, Bossolona because you deserve it, you worked hard for it, you reaped the rewards which your great efforts on the day merited and, in this game, it’s all about winning and not the romance of beautiful passing football without results, without an end product and it’s a brutal game that only remembers the champions.
To God Be The Glory
Come on Warriors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!