Home » Sports » Clubs Abandon Juju for Prayer

One interesting and refreshing dimension that has been added to our football is that clubs are abandoning belief in juju (magic) and have turned to prayer.

Now and then, in the changing rooms or right on the field of play, players are seen grouped together and praying before and after the game abandoning the old system in which clubs believed in the use of black magic better known in football circles as juju.

This is a very heartening development as there are now fewer cases of players going unpaid while clubs fork out huge sums of money sometimes to pay the team ‘doctor’ — who may not even tell the difference between a bruise and a gaping wound.

I remember talking to then Highlanders chairman Ndumiso Gumede many years back on allegations that the club was spending money on n’angas (traditional doctors) when their players were going unpaid. His response was that there were certain traditions within Bosso which ought to be preserved.

There were also tales that four Harare-based Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clubs were regular visitors to the same n’anga based in the Western Triangle area in Highfield.

At one time, it was said, Dynamos officials arrived when Blackpool Football Club were consulting and officials of Blackpool were made to use the back entrance on their way out to avoid meeting the Dynamos officials. Vakuru vauya (The big brothers are here) Blackpool were told as they were led out of the premises.

Well, this is the past and times are changing.

Also slowly going away are the days when players urinated on the pitch, right in front of paying supporters and their families. Days when clubs jumped over the fence instead of using the designated entrance — days when players would throw dashes of snuff (Bute or Mudhombo) on each other as a way of disabling the power of snuff induced black magic juju or muti.

Today, the sound of singing and prayer in changing rooms have taken over, reverberating week in and week out. The likes of FC Platinum, ZPC Kariba, and all the teams that Lloyd Mutasa coached firmly believe in prayer before and after the game.

Dynamos too have joined the prayer bandwagon. Straight from their changing room, DeMbare head to a goal post where their players kneel along the goal line in prayer asking God for a good result.

This is what has now become part of our game of football. A very refreshing development indeed.

But one fan jokingly said we needed to avoid a situation in which players enter the field of play with Bibles in their kits as happened in the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals between Egypt and Nigeria.

This, he said, could transform our stadiums into churches.

So far, it is so good for the Zimbabwe national cricket team that is at the ongoing cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

Their spirited performance against South Africa and their four-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates has raised spirits and hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is despite the team being dismissed as no hopers, prior to the start of the tournament.

Nobody including their most loyal supporters had given the Chevrons the chance of reaching the promised Super Eight stage, but from their performance so far, there is a chance that goal could be a reality.

But the truth is that the Chevrons are not yet there and right now, that Super Eight place is still a dream.

Yes, the splendid performance should be the reason for excitement, but it is not until the Chevrons reach the Super Eight stage that we would sit up and take notice.

Sterner tests lie ahead as the Chevrons still have to play India, Pakistan, Ireland, with their next assignment being against the West Indies at the Manuka Ground in Canberra on Tuesday.

That showing against South Africa with Hamilton Masakadza plundering 80-runs and that four wicket win over the UAE with Sean Williams hitting an unbeaten could count for nothing should the team fail to reach the Super Eight stage.

Nothing less than that would be entertained back home.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard