Mpume's heart bleeds for CAPS

HARARE - CAPS United great Mpumelelo Dzowa – who puts his career medal tally with Makepekepe at 37 – says his beloved club’s fortunes probably began to wane after it was infiltrated by individuals who treat the team as a “cash machine” and “milk cow.”

Dzowa, who played for one of the better CAPS United sides in the late 90s, came short of labelling club president Twine Phiri the single biggest problem at United, saying only him can save the team from sinking under the severe weight of current problems bedevilling the four-time Zimbabwe champions. 

“I admit I am too far and it has been years since I last watched my team in action, but I've always been a dedicated and active follower,” Dzowa, who now works and live in the United States, says in an interview with the Daily News. 

“The main problem that can make a positive difference is my friend and owner Twine Phiri. Under his ownership and management the CAPS United brand has been severely devalued, dragged in the mud and the Kepekepe culture eroded and replaced by the current unsustainable 'lean' approach.”

Dzowa said CAPS hit rock bottom after former benefactor CAPS Holdings withdrew its sponsorship of the club in the late 90s, although United in 2004 and 2005 did win back-to-back league titles in the post-CAPS Holdings era. 

“It would be unfair to address our problems without mentioning that this great footballing institution is previously a successful corporate project at CAPS Holdings. A generous and professional management had for decades presided over this project, we had nothing but success and the unbelievable growth of the brand. CAPS was a huge family, always recruiting and promoting internally for players, backroom and technical staff. There was fair, consistent competition and transparent promotion of players for team jerseys from juniors to seniors and coaching slots for former players and outsiders.

“Gishon Ntini is a good example, from being a helper in the junior structures to coach. The game preparation, camp, singing before and after games was routine. The songs highlighted a unique identity of the team and that very much motivated us. Winning games and trophies was a way of life, I remember celebrating my first winners medal with CAPS in 1989. Assistant coach Clever Muzuva declared that more were on the way.

“When I retired I counted 37 winners and runners-up medals which today are proudly displayed at my parents’ house. We attracted so much goodwill from well-wishers, fans were falling over each other to finance drink and braai parties at Raylton (Sports Club). The respect and success for this Kepekepe culture fuelled the pride to belong and the desire to always represent the Green Army. Throughout the years this continuity within the system was enforced only by the existing culture and the brand power that everybody easily identified with, respected and adored, and above all, in the process subconsciously perpetuated.”

The former right-back, who won his only league title in 1996 under Steve Kwashi’s stewardship, also tore into outsiders “who have devalued the brand of the club.”

“The problem is that the club has been reduced to a cash machine or milk cow whose culture effect and brand power has absolutely no meaning to those that serve it and intend to,’ said Dzowa.

“It is no secret, nowadays, most players are business minded, the idea of belonging, culture and brand respect is alien. However, despite this fact, their instant arrival at an institution like CAPS, of course in the presence of a sound culture, should invite or instil a major overhaul in their overall approach, attitude and hence performance for the team.

“But the reverse is true for most players and coaches, they continue to arrive, sign good contracts, consistently fail to live up to their potential and expectations and ultimately fade out still drawing a salary as the team continues to misfire. The slow liquidation of former faithful servants from my beloved club structures – technical, executive and board – killed its identity and effectively terminated the continuity that is needed to prevail in any successful organisation. In an attempt to operate lean, the club unwisely released the custodians of the Kepekepe culture. And the absence of the culture, identity and brand influence the good players arrive with potential to succeed but flop in an environment missing the 'how things are done here' guidance and thus we are struggling to remain a powerhouse.

“There are no shortcuts to success.”

Comments (5)

What a eat player. A product of Highlanders junior programme from Ali Dube's school of soccer. You were and the rest of the group a quality we will always dream to reproduce. Name like Mercedes Rambo Sibanda, Willard Khumalo, Summer Ncube, Nestai Moyo,

Bheki Ncube - 9 September 2014

What a eat player. A product of Highlanders junior programme from Ali Dube's school of soccer. You were and the rest of the group a quality we will always dream to reproduce. Name like Mercedes Rambo Sibanda, Willard Khumalo, Summer Ncube, Nestai Moyo,

Bheki Ncube - 9 September 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 9 September 2014

thats true era muna,ideas area not taken from aliens

george mudiwa - 10 September 2014

I agree with Eramuna, players these days forget they are some people who have been with this team for years. The who structure at Caps need to know the feelings of the supporters at large. As supporters, we sometimes sacrificies in any kind.

Darlington Tawedzerwa - 12 September 2014

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