Shaya’s legacy lives on
By Simbarashe Musaki
ZIMBABWE is weeping. George Shaya, the country’s football legend is dead; but not gone because his legacy will live forever.
During his heydays, as a Dynamos FC and National Team midfield kingpin, Shaya was marvelous and a joy to watch on the football pitch, with his sultry skills many times than once winning him hearts of football supporters across the board, leading him to be glorified and talked about in reverted tones, long after his retirement.
Affectionately known as ‘Mastermind’ due to his moves and dribbling ability that could carve open any defense, Shaya was a rare talent and his contribution is immeasurable as both a player and administrator.
A legend’s true essence.
His contribution to black supremacy in football history before independence can never be doubted, as he captained the Rhodesian football national team at the of 21-years and was also a deserving recipient of the soccer star of the year award in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977, a feat that will never be erased from history books.
He will be remembered as the country’s finest black footballer in the colonial era and also one of the most decorated administrators post-independence after his charges as chairman guided Dynamos FC to the Champions League Final in 1998, a record which is yet to be broken.
Prior to deterioration of his health, Shaya played his part in the country’s football development, unfortunately, he has died while there is much more still to be done for the country to be recognized as the continent’s football powerhouse, which was his dream.
Diametrically opposed to how other legends are treated, where people fall over each other to pay tribute after one’s death. Everyone held Shaya in high regard and he received donations from ordinary countrymen, the corporate world, and the Government, when he needed support most.
Shaya’s name will be etched in Zimbabwe’s hall of fame of footballers, along with other greats like Misheck ‘Scania’ Chidzambwa, Shacky ‘Mr Goals’ Tauro, David ‘Yogi’ Mandigora, Adam ‘Adamski’ Ndlovu, and Joe ‘Kode’ Mugabe, among others.
Nelson Mandela once said, “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and country, he can rest in peace.” I think, Shaya also said the same words.
May his larger than life soul rest in peace.