Dynamos have written to Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) seeking facilitation of conferment of national hero status on the late George “Mastermind” Shaya who passed on yesterday.
Five-time Soccer Star of the year Shaya set the bar of football achievements so high that the record he set has not been breached to date. He came tops in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977.
The request for the national hero status is premised on George Shaya representing the rise of black national consciousness and nationalism through his football genius, artistry and prowess during his playing days spanning 1968 to the late 70s.
He was part of the black generation that used football to express their wish for self-determination, racial parity, justice and independence during the Unilateral Declaration of Independence era in Rhodesia.
Shaya demonstrated that blacks were not as inferior to their white compatriots as portrayed by the Rhodesia Front government by getting a national call up into the Rhodesia national football team that played Australia in 1969, in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The star-studded Rhodesia team had both white and black players drawn from the elite football clubs of Rhodesia.
Mastermind asserted “black power” through football by winning the coveted Soccer Star of The Year award in 1969, the year when the award was inaugurated in Rhodesia.
As if that were not enough, he went on to win the award a record five times, a feat which no other player has done to date.
The late was an entertainer par excellence as he shone in both club and national team colours during his trailblazing football career which saw him being honoured by the Sports and Recreation Commission by being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Dembare hopes that Shaya gets conferment of national hero status because of what his talent represented at a time of oppression.