‘IN CHEGUTU, YOU ARE BORN A PIRATE’

Robson SharukoEditor 

SULUMAN Chimbetu went back home on Saturday.

He even entertained the capacity crowd at Pfupajena with a range of his dancing skills in the searing heat.

“This is for us, our town, our people and those who came before us,” he told H-Metro.

This is his hometown, the family farm is here and, among the thousands of Chegutu Pirates fans, the Dendera music star was very much at home.

And, his Pirates didn’t let him down.

A 1-0 win over Black Mambas saw them win a SEVENTH straight game and take over pole position in the race for a place in the domestic Premiership next season.

All they need is to win against Herentals Under-20 to win a place in the top-flight league next season.

A draw, or even a loss, in that game might still be enough as long as Mambas don’t win their final game.

Analysts say the Pirates, who are also known as Dzinza and Zaire, are the most supported club in the country’s lower division leagues.

It’s probably a fair point even though it could also be true that their support base is bigger than most of the Premiership clubs.

On Saturday, they printed 7000 tickets and they were all sold out.

The stadium was virtually full by 1pm and Chegutu was transformed into a sea of black and white colours.

“The local economy here has never seen anything like this,” said a businessman in the town.

“Business has been good this week and it all is related to the good vibes created by these Zaire boys.

“This is the power of sport, it’s ability to transform communities and hopefully if we get promoted this is what we will see every week.”

Chegutu’s love affair with its football club is legendary and, at times, the raw passion has exploded into mayhem with regular outbreaks of violence at Pfupajena.

It’s the closest town in Zimbabwe to a typical English town, where all the love is directed to the local football team.

“It’s our culture here,” said a fan, Arthur Damiyano.

“You are born a Pirate in Chegutu, everything else comes after that bond has been sealed at birth.  You guys, have your big clubs in Harare, here we have Pirates, Dzinza rema Dzinza, Zaire yangu mhai and we are big, we are bigger than Ngezi.”

In this theatre of joy, Sulu found a way to add his magical touch to a day the people of Chegutu will never forget.

He was home and, in that ocean of ecstasy, he would never have chosen to be anywhere else.

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