|Born||April 24, 1976|
|Awards||2002 Soccer Star of the Year in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League|
Dazzy Kapenya is a former Zimbabwean footballer and sports personality who played for a number of local and foreign clubs including Highlanders Football Club as well as the Zimbabwe National Soccer Team.
Dazzy Kapenya was born on 24 April 1976.
Dazzy Kapenya had his successful football playing career when he turned out for Bulawayo giants, Highlanders Football Club, where he won four league titles on the trot and also being crowned 2002 Soccer Star of the Year award. He left Bosso for lowly Sporting Lions Football Club in 2003. Kapenya had reached his crowning moment at the end of the 2002 season when he was named the Soccer Star of the Year. He had also inspired Highlanders to a fourth successive championship title under the guidance of the late Eddie May, as the Bosso juggernaut became the talk of town.
It was a rare move that many thought was driven by the allure of lucrative financial rewards, but the former defender insisted that is was “purely a football decision”.
“My move to Sporting Lions was not inspired by anything. My contract had expired and they were willing to have me on board, and I could have gone to any team. It was a choice that I made and sometimes not everyone is happy with choices that we make,” said Kapenya.
As fate would have it, after moving from the dizzy heights that Bosso had scaled, Kapenya found himself in unfamiliar territory as Sporting Lions were to fight relegation. From a fan-filled Barbourfields Stadium to virtually empty Harare stadia, Kapenya described the change of environment as an exciting experience that he had to get used to.
“From winning the championship to fighting relegation was an exciting experience. I gave it my best even though I was not used to playing in empty stadiums, but the good thing is that we managed to avoid relegation that same year at Sporting Lions, and the demands at Sporting Lions compared to Highlanders were very different,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say I have regrets or disappointments that I would wish to correct in my football career. Whatever happened was supposed to happen, life is a learning curve and a teacher in itself, so I learnt a lot through my football career. I have no regrets.”
Kapenya was an integral part of the Warriors team that played in the 2004 AFCON finals held in Tunisia. The team was coached by a veteran football legend Sunday Chidzambwa and captained by the heroic Peter Ndlovu. He played as defender in a team that included football legends such as Peter Ndlovu, Lazarus Muhoni, Wilfred Mugeyi and Kaitano Tembo. Having been part of the history-making Highlanders Football Club that scooped four consecutive league titles, Kapenya is the last player from Highlanders to be crowned Soccer Star of the Year. Since then, the top gong has eluded Bosso players.
For someone who switched from being an attacking midfielder to a central defender, being crowned Soccer Star of the Year came as a surprise, given the bias towards attacking players.
“Most of the time the credit is given to the strikers and midfielders because they complete the final phase of the game, which is scoring, and I appeal to those with the privilege to select the Soccer Star that they must not overlook our defenders because they are doing a great job at the back.
“It’s very rare for defenders to win the Soccer Star (of the Year Award) but I believe defending is a skill, just like scoring and creating goal-scoring opportunities.”
He also played for Dynamos Football Club during the 2006 season under coach David Mandigora. He also spoke about some of the strikers who gave him a torrid time in his career, singling out former Dynamos forward Tauya Murehwa and Joseph Kabwe, who plied his trade with Amazulu.
“There a couple of strikers who used to give me a torrid time but there are two who quickly come to mind — Tauya Murehwa and (Joseph) Kabwe from Amazulu,” he said.
Kapenya’s experience as a midfielder would also come in handy in the role that he was given by legendary coach Sunday Chidzambwa in a 3-5-2 formation the former Warriors coach preferred for the national team.
“I used to play as a sweeper under Sunday Chidzambwa in the 3-5-2 formation and I was very much comfortable with the ball; the reason being that I was once an attacking link before I was converted into a defender, so my style of play did not change that much.”
- Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League winners' medal x4 (1998/99-2002 with Highlanders Football Club)
- 2002 Soccer Star of the Year Award