Robson Sharuko, Senior Sports Editor
AT his peak, he was the doctor who could fly, the poster boy of a very strong Dynamos side and a master of the cheeky body swerve which he used to make a mockery of tough defenders.
He was nicknamed The Flying Doctor, and for a good reason too.
His package — a rare mixture of football beauty and brains — seduced a domestic Premiership which had been waiting for such a star since Rodrick Muganhiri’s retirement.
By 1995, he had transformed himself into the stand-out footballer on the local scene and was overwhelmingly voted the Soccer Star of the Year.
His real name is Tauya Murewa.
He exploded like a shooting star, floated like a butterfly and destroyed defences with such ease, and beauty, he became the face of the University of Zimbabwe.
And, of course, the soul of the DeMbare attack.
Such was his profound impact, bus-loads of UZ students — divided by their club affiliations but united by their role model — would come to Rufaro just about every weekend to see him play and support his cause.
“Tauya kuzoona Tauya,” were popular banners in the stands where those UZ students would sit to cheer their hero.
He should have won the Soccer Star of the Year again in 1997.
But, the rogue selectors, divided by club affiliations, decided to dump their ethics into the dustbins and, instead, went on a crusade to shame their selection process.
After Edelbert Dinha was controversially disqualified, those who were either pro-CAPS United or anti-Dynamos, then went into overdrive to hit back and deny him the Soccer Star of the Year award.
And, in the ensuing chaos, Walter Tshuma of Hwange emerged the unlikely winner and sponsors, Delta Beverages, decided not to recognise the shame and pulled out of the partnership.
Since he moved to South Africa, to be part of the Supa Diski brigade as the old millennium gave way to the new one, Murewa’s story has been something of a mystery.
Very little, related to his life after he called time on his career, which really didn’t explode across the Limpopo the way it did here, has come out.
In sharp contrast, some of his former teammates, like Kaitano Tembo, today find themselves basking in the limelight in the trenches of coaching in the ABSA Premiership.
Is Tauya practising medicine, is he preparing for life as a coach, is he back home in Zimbabwe?
These are some of the questions which are frequently asked by those who were mesmerised by his brilliance, in the colours of DeMbare, and there have been very few answers.
That is, until now.
For, after a painstaking search, we can today reveal that Murewa gave up everything, including football and medicine, to serve the Lord.
“Tauya is not involved in football anymore, he left all that when he retired from the game and he is not serving as a doctor neither,” sources told The Herald On Saturday.
“He chose a different path and that might surprise many but that’s what he decided to do and he is firmly dedicated to his cause.
“He gave his life to serving the Lord and is deeply involved in the ZCC (Zion Christian Church) in South Africa.
“To him, that’s all that matters now, serving this organisation, worshipping and doing work, in various capacities, for the ZCC.
“He is a very different man from the Tauya you used to know, this is a man who deeply believes in the path he has taken and is not concerned about life’s luxuries anymore.
“He now likes to live a very humble life, far away from the spotlight where he thrived as a footballer, and his life today is all centred on ZCC activities in the Pretoria area.
“Football is a chapter that he closed some time ago and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore because he believes he has found what he was looking for and this is the life he wants.”
The ZCC is considered to be the largest African initiated church with a huge presence across the southern tip of the continent.
Its roots are in South Africa where it has an estimated eight to 10 million members with its headquarters at Zion City Moira in the Limpopo Province.
The late Bishop Samuel Mutendi founded the Zimbabwe branch of the ZCC and its membership is estimated to be over one million in this country.
“Tauya’s story changed along the way and he turned his back on everything he had been doing to dedicate his life to the ZCC and everything that the church stands for,” the sources said.
“I guess that has always been his character that if he wants to do something, his dedication towards that is 100 percent and that’s what he is doing right now.
“Of course, it has come at a personal cost, some would say, because he has had to forgo some of the luxuries that let’s say coaching or practising as a doctor might have brought him.
“But, he believes that’s a good price to pay, he likes it that way and he feels he is where he wants to be in his life.”
Before he arrived in South Africa, Murewa was offered trials at Scottish side Hibernian in a move that was organised by agent Jake Duncan.
He arrived in Scotland after having scored more than 60 goals in four seasons for Dynamos.
“I’d love to play football in your country,” he told the Daily Record newspaper.
“As a youngster, I did well at school and discovered that I had a special interest in medicine.
“But, there was always a passion for football — and that’s what I want to concentrate on right now.
“Once I finish my football career, I will return to medicine.”
That was then, before, as it appears now, he found a new path and dedication to a different cause.