A SECTION of Dynamos fans has been asking questions about Murape Murape in recent weeks, but he keeps finding answers for them.
Often criticised and often written off, the 34-year-old on Sunday in the Big Harare Derby against Caps United at the National Sports Stadium once again proved that his competitive spirit remains unbroken.
Murape’s well-taken goal earned Dynamos a halftime lead and almost proved decisive in what was a thrilling derby that had many chances for both teams, before Malawian international Gerald Phiri intervened with an equally sweet equaliser – a sublime free-kick taken from outside the box.
That Murape’s taste for the big occasion still lingers was, as has been in his entire career, very clear. And to perform like that at that advanced age, he remains an impressive athlete.
The veteran midfielder celebrated the goal by running to the supporters, as if to remind them what he is still capable of doing and obviously to silence his critics.
And it appears many still adore him, as they chanted his name before the first whistle and he reciprocated by dancing along.
Regarded as the man who embodies the Dynamos’ never-die-spirit, he ran himself to a standstill on Sunday, against a team he hates to lose to.
For 72 minutes he was on the pitch, he played like a 19-year-old before he ran out of steam and was pulled off for Cliff Sekete.
At the final whistle, Murape looked distraught. Never one to shy away from the limelight and controversies, he blamed “poor officiating” from the referee for the draw.
Although his passion can be misdirected at times as was shown by his Facebook spat with a Dynamos fan in recent weeks, when he is on song like on Sunday, it would be hard to find a better player than him at the Harare giants.
Murape was the outstanding performer against Highlanders in Dynamos’ 1-0 win a few weeks ago, and the league champions looked imperious when he was on the pitch in the 2-1 win over Black Rhinos last week.
In that match he provided the assist that was converted by Rodreck Mutuma before wobbling off after 20 minutes, and the team lost shape and direction. They had to labour for the victory in a match they had initially looked well on course to win comfortably.
Ahead of the reverse fixture against Caps United next week, Dynamos supporters — most of them — would be hoping for a similar show from the man who came through the team’s ranks, the man who personifies the true Dynamos spirit.
While Murape’s performance was refreshing and reassuring to most Dynamos fans, they would be heartbroken to confirm their worst fears as revealed by NewsDay Sport earlier last week that rock solid defender Patson Jaure would be leaving for Pretoria University. And he left soon after the derby.
Jaure becomes the latest Zimbabwean to move to South Africa on the back of their performance at CHAN earlier this year and his departure is likely to derail Dynamos’ charge to a fourth straight title.
Their draw against Caps United saw them losing second position to ZPC Kariba although both teams are on 27 points, three behind leaders Highlanders with the other half of the season still to go.
Caps United, who celebrated the draw as if they have won the match, also remain in the title race with 27 points.
At the other end of the table, Chiredzi FC, Bantu Rovers, Black Rhinos and Harare City currently look doomed.