Tag: supporters

Dynamos Fans Hand Over Hampers To Crash Victims’ Families And Survivors

Dynamos Football Club supporters yesterday commemorated the fourth annivessary of the road accident that claimed the lives of their colleagues by handing over food hampers to families of the deceased and survivors at the club offices at the National Sports Stadium.

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Nine DeMbare fans lost their lives while 16 were injured, two of them seriously, when the kombi they were travelling on burst a rear tyre, rolled several times before landing on its roof at the 173-kilometre peg near Battlefields on June 11, 2016.

They were on their way to Gweru to cheer their team in a league match against Chapungu at Ascot Stadium.

The Dynamos supporters have since 2017 been donating food hampers to the families of the nine fans who perished in that crash.

And yesterday, they defied the hardships brought about by the coronavirus-induced lockdown to honour their pledge to those families.

One of the survivors of the accident Maxwell Machisi, gave a chilling account of what transpired on the day when he was given the floor to address the close to 50 people including the families of the deceased, supporters as well as some members of the team’s executive.

So graphic were the details, that one lady, Antonneta Gwasira, who lost both her siblings, Spencer and Galileo in that crash, had to be helped out by her husband, Collen, who together with one of Spencer’s three orphans had accompanied her to the function.

Antonneta, who stayed with Galileo, said she first learnt of her siblings’ passing on in that accident when both of them failed to pick up their phones after she had seen an ominous message on a WhatsApp group platform.

“We were only three in our family. I am the oldest. Spencer stayed alone while his wife and three kids were living in our rural home in Murehwa. He was 32 years old at the time of his death,” she said while sobbing.

“Galileo didn’t have a family at the time of his death at 27 years. I stayed with him at my house. Our parents died when we were still very young in the late 1990s. So I was like their mother and in them, I also saw my father.

“Both were street vendors. They loved football in general and Dynamos in particular. So on the fateful day, Galileo bid me an ominous goodbye but I never minded him. Instead I said today the team might fail you and we laughed it off.

“The next thing was seeing some graphic images on mangled bodies on WhatsApp and trying to call both Galileo and Spencer, but neither was picking.”

After an hour of relentless calling, Antonneta, with the help of her husband decided to visit the scene of the accident but just after passing Norton, Spencer’s phone called her but, it wasn’t her brother at the end of the line.

“It was man’s voice but realising it wasn’t Spencer’s, I started to shiver. My worst fears would soon be confirmed. The man just asked me whether I was related to Spencer and where I was. I told him I was on my way to Kwekwe and he said I should drop off at Chegutu hospital as he had been involved in an accident.

“Apparently unaware of what she had been through, another voice sounding similar to the one which had called her moments before, she also received the same news this time via Galileo’s phone.”

Antonnete would soon discover both her siblings had perished in that accident.

“It wasn’t easy to fathom. It was too much. Just like that, I was all alone, without my siblings who had been with me through thick and thin after losing our parents.”

Spencer’s orphans are now under her guardianship after their mother crossed the border to look for greener pastures in South Africa recently.

Antonneta hailed the initiative by the Dynamos supporters.

“I just want to thank Dynamos supporters for this gesture. It is not every day that you find this kind of support. This is a very difficult period for everyone. I am a vendor, so is my husband and we are struggling to raise both my family and my brother’s children.

“This shows that Dynamos is such a beautiful family to be part of. We are thankful for this.”

Dynamos vice-chairman Moses Shumba said the Glamour Boys would support this initiative in future and hailed the club’s supporters.

Dynamos head coach Tonderai Ndiraya, and chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, also graced the occasion.

Galileo Muchemwa, Spencer Gwasira, Prince Nheweyembwa, Rukudzo Mahupete, Patience Murefu, Peter Maemba, Kimberly Nduku, Violet Tauzeni and Rast Nezandoyi perished in that accident some say would have been avoided had the defective tyres been replaced before departure.

For the first time since the initiative came into place three years ago, survivors, including Machisi, also received food hampers.

Dembare Commemmorate Four Years Annivessary Of Accident Victims

JUNE 11 will be forever be enshrined in Dynamos’ modern history. It is a day the club lost nine of their fans in a road accident in Battlefields as they travelled to watch their team in a league encounter against Chapungu at Ascot in 2016.

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Seven of the fans died on the spot while two succumbed to injuries sustained in that accident that also left others disabled.

And in a ‘befitting’ send-off DeMbare went on to win the match 2-1.

In an interview, Dynamos spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the day will forever be remembered with the honour it deserves.

“The fans remain an important constituency to us and when such tragic incidents happen as a club we continue remembering them. They were traveling to rally behind their beloved team, they are our ‘martyrs’.

“Even after all these years, we continue sending comfort to the affected families. As the Dynamos family we are also aware that Supporters Associations are also remembering them. It is unfortunate that there is no action presently, it was going to be something good to remember them with that ambience at the stadium, ” said Farawo.

The club’s Harare Chapter Supporters Association secretary-general Shungu Kamukapa said, as fans, they are still finding it hard to cope with the reality even after four years.

“The loss of a loved one is something that one can never cope with especially under tragic circumstances. Death, in itself, is difficult to digest because most of the times it leaves a void that can prove difficult to fill.

“This has been the case over the last four years within the Dynamos supporters family. Of course celebrated names like Taribo West come to mind but every loss has left its mark on us, more disheartening is the fact that these nine perished in the line of duty.

“Dynamos fans are known for being passionate about their club and it is testimony that these members were part of the vocal Vietnam Stand , a place where you find some the most loyal and passionate of fans who will sing and cheer throughout 90 minutes even when the chips are down. So you can imagine the emotions doing the rounds each time fans travel away.

“The journey always carries an extra emotional attachment as we feel that despite our many numbers there are some fellows who should have been here cheering their favourite blue & white army,” said Kamukapa.

Kamukapa said it is unfortunate that they will not remember the deceased at the stadium due to Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead, in a special honour to the nine, they will donate to their families.

“The intention is to commemorate our dedicated sons and daughters in a manner befitting their contribution to the club. Plans have been lined out to hand over donations to the respective nine families as a token of goodwill as most of the departed members were breadwinners, the wish is that in cases where some left children we aim to be able to pay for their tuition or better off give them employment or something to keep the families growing.

“The obligation to be our brothers’ keepers remains the focal point of the supporters. Every year a reception is held in the month of June in their honour but given current lockdown restrictions, we have had to adjust accordingly.

“This year we intend to distribute hampers to the families of the DeMbare 9, we have also had to call out for help to raise funds to supplement the gestures earmarked.

“Because of the economic hardships prevailing, the clarion call is being made to the outside world for every donation or hand extended is mostly welcomed and greatly appreciated. Besides the #Dembare9, we also have some of our members who survived the accident but are now permanently disabled..

“Our wish is if we can be of some assistance to them so that they can be able to sustain themselves and have something they can generate some income from. We also take the opportunity to remember another Dynamos fan Chipo Nyikayaramba who died in April last year on her way to watch our match against Chicken Inn,” he said.

Kamukapa also said they will do something when action resumes to show the football community the importance of the twelfth man.

“The 12th man, the fans stand out to be an integral member of every team who have the priceless role of cheering their team giving it an advantage over their rival on the day. The perfect commemoration indeed would have been before a huge crowd singing their praises and honouring their heroic efforts over the years.

“The hope, however, is when it is all clear to go back out there we honour them in song and dance at the stadium. And as the country continues fighting the coronavirus pandemic, DeMbare fans have also added their voice urging football lovers to comply with the regulations if they want to see action resuming soon.

“Coronavirus has put football fans in a spot that we are not accustomed to, but it is imperative to note that without life there is no football to be talked about. So until a solution is formulated and a vaccine is discovered we just have to comply with the existing safety guidelines and accept that this too shall pass.

“We take this opportunity to thank the frontline workers who have been working tirelessly in the fight against the dreadful disease.”

Dembare Merchandise Deal Goes Into Motion

The operationalisation of the four-year sales agreement between Dynamos Football Club and their anchor sponsor Remmington Gold has kicked off

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The deal was launched in February and the two parties have confirmed, through an official statement, that the deal is now fully operational.

The development comes at a time Dynamos have begun steps to commercialise and widen their revenue streams beyond gate revenue.

Dynamos, just like all the local teams, have had to endure months without any gate-takings as action was halted owing to the pandemic that forced a stop to global sporting action.

But before the Covid-19 outbreak, Dynamos had begun exploring ways to enhance brand visibility through merchandise sales, particularly the club’s replica jerseys and branded shirts.

“The sale of our merchandise has kicked off,” read part of the statement.

“Dynamos Football Club and their main sponsors Remington Gold are glad to announce the operationalisation of our four-year sales relationship agreement, which was concluded in February 2020.

“The two partners agreed that they shall, during the subsistence of the agreement, distribute, through their supporters’ structures, the official club merchandise and or paraphernalia and Remington Gold products in Zimbabwe and beyond the borders.

“The products, which shall be sold to the club’s fans and the general public, shall be distributed through designated distribution agents comprising, but not limited to the following: sports shops, restaurants and food courts, service stations, licensed vendors, departmental/chain stores, wholesalers and club offices.”

While Dynamos’ official home and away shirts will be on sale when the season gets underway, merchandise like royal blue supporters’ shirts (pictured) are already on sale at US$10.

Dynamos spokesperson Tinashe Farawo explained further details of the merchandise deal.

“The first batch of official club merchandise comprising royal blue supporters’ shirts shall be sold at your nearest distribution agent designated by the club.

“Each original supporters’ shirt shall be sold for a special price of US$10.

“More merchandise, including the official 2020 season home and away playing shirts, shall be going on sale as soon as the season gets underway,” Farawo said.

Dynamos and fellow traditional giants Highlanders and CAPS United have constantly been urged to lead the way in becoming commercial ventures in line with global football trends.

Without official club replicas and branded shirts, caps, scarves and other merchandise, Dynamos fans have had to find their identity in replicas of international clubs such as Chelsea who wear similar colours.

Farawo, however, believes the Premiership giants can only build from the steps they have taken through their partnership with Remington Gold, which includes their supporters across the country.

Dynamos Fans Say No To Violence

LEADERS of the Dynamos Football Club supporters countrywide have condemned violence at football matches saying the vice is archaic and detrimental to the development of the sport.

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Dynamos Supporters Association National Chairman Benjamin Munzira says, since their membership is the biggest in the country, the onus is very much on them to deal with the threat of violence when the season begins.

Munzira said this season, and going forward, they have upgraded their anti-violence mechanisms – with the help of the club executive – to control their multitudes of fans.

“This year we have plans to eradicate cases of violence during matches.

“We have supporters’ groups known as Chapters in all parts of the country that make sure they control supporters that misbehave.

“Each Chapter has 10 marshals or stewards. These people will be overseeing the movement and behaviour of their fans before, during and after matches,” added Munzira.

“It gets better when Dynamos is playing at our home Rufaro where most supporters from different parts of the country like Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Mutare and others are normally present so control is more effective and centralised.“

“We have trained our marshalls to pay more attention to the crowd than to the football on the field. These marshalls will be working closely with the police, so I can guarantee that violence will be a thing of the past starting this season,” said Munzira.

Munzira said they will continue holding seminars and programmes to educate their security about crowd control and other modern security trends.

“We are going to make sure that our chapters are more organised and stronger than before,” he concluded.