Chari's career cut short by work

GWERU - When former CAPS United coach Nti Behene Bonsu left Zimbabwe to go back to his native Ghana in the 90s he still had vivid memories of a local midfielder he had christened “Rhino”.

Bonsu was convinced that this player was going to be next big thing at the Green machine after the legendary Joe “Kode” Mugabe.

That player was none other than midfielder Charles Chari, who was rated ahead of the late Blessing Makunike and Artwell Mabhiza as the next big thing to be unearthed by Mekepekepe.

Work commitments in Gweru, however, hampered Chari’s progress with the Green Machine as he would only end up playing cameo roles for the Harare club after he joined the police force.

Chari can be described as the one that got away as because a lot was expected from him by CAPS United after he showed a lot of promise throughout all their junior teams.

The midfielder would earn his first appearance for the first team under Steve Kwashi when he starred in a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe Saints at Barbourfields Stadium in 1996.

He went on to star in the CAPS United midfield that led the club to their second Zimbabwe championship that season.

Chari’s CAPS career, however, took a nose dive when he was transferred to Gweru at the start of 1997.

“I grew up St Mary’s in Chitungwiza and I was part of the CAPS United junior structures from an early age,” Chari tells the Daily News.

“I was part of the junior team that included the likes of Makunike and Mabhiza. I enjoyed my boyhood days as just like any other junior at that time Joe Mugabe was our hero and we looked up to him a lot.

“I was privileged to play alongside him but it was to be brief because I had joined the police force in 1997 since I wanted a steady income to cater for my siblings.”

Chari’s superiors in the police force were the ones who insisted in him putting aside his football career as it was now interfering with his work. 

“Later, I was then transferred to Gweru and it was difficult for me to commute to Harare to come for training with CAPS United,” he recalls.

“My bosses also felt that playing for CAPS United was jeopardising my work as I was paying more attention to football.”

While in Gweru, Chari could no longer continue with his Makepekepe career and ended up playing the sport he loved with local social clubs.

Chari’s luck would change at the start of 2001 when he enrolled for electronic communications engineering programme with the Harare Polytechnic.

Upon his return to Harare, Chari took the opportunity to join Sporting Lions where he would be reunited with his childhood hero Mugabe, who had moved from CAPS United.

In that same Sporting Lions side, Chari also played together with the likes of current Dynamos coaches Calisto Pasuwa and Philemon Mutyakureva.

He stayed in the capital for three years between 2001 and 2003 where he turned out for the Thomas Mapfumo-owned side.

In 2003, Chari was honoured by the Zimbabwe republic Police when he was named the captain of the Zimbabwe team that took part in the SARPCO games.

That team included the likes of Masimba Dinyero, Peter Kachirika, Innocent Nyoni and Kasimero Chimbadzwa.

He would captain the Zimbabwe team at the SARPCO games for another three years before his rein ended in 2007.

Chari is now back in Gweru where he is now leading the transformation of Sharks into a formidable football side.

It is Chari and his colleagues hope that in the next coming years they would have turned the social football club into a professional team.

After quitting the police force, Chari is now a telecoms engineer with GSM and 3G Technologies.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.