George Shaya
George Shaya
BornGeorge Shaya
(1942-12-24)December 24, 1942
DiedAugust 24, 2021(2021-08-24) (aged 78)
Glen Norah
EducationSt Paul's High



George "Mastermind" Shaya was among some of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers to have played for the Zimbabwe national team and Dynamos Football Club.

In early March 2019, rumours circulated and it was reported on some website like ZimEye, that Shaya had died. It was however proven to be false. Shaya was however admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital where he had been amputated a week earlier. [1]

Shaya died on 24 August 2021, at his home in Glen Norah, Harare.


Shaya was born in Salisbury on Christmas eve in 1948 where he grew up along with other young boys of his age playing football using a homemade ball. His football career really began when he moved to Saint Paul's High School in Murehwa. While at Saint Paul's, the young Shaya played for the school in the super league and the school team was at that time being coached by Father Edward Davies.[2] Shaya eventually joined Dynamos Football Club at the age of sixteen, a club that he would later go on to manage.

A Younger George Shaya

Professional career with Dynamos Football Club

The "Mastermind" had a very colourful career with the glamour boys which saw Shaya being crowned Soccer Star of the Year a record five times, an achievement yet to be replicated.[3] He has often been described as a midfield genius of his day whose moves and dribbling ability could carve open any defence, which inevitably earned him the nickname "mastermind". Shaya was a very important player for Dynamos and proved decisive on many occasions during his tenure at the glamour boys. In his own opinion, his most exhilarating experience was when he curled a free kick past the Zimbabwe Saints Football Club wall to score the goal that would clinch the Castle Cup in 1976 for Dynamos Football Club.[2]

The stint with Moroka Swallows

Shaya also managed to play in the South African league for Moroka Swallows in 1975 but the experience was short lived as the "Mastermind" returned home claiming that he had grown homesick.

National Team Contribution

One of the milestones of Shaya's illustrious football career was his selection to play for the Rhodesia World Cup team at the age of twenty-one. Afterward, the then Rhodesia national team was beaten 7-0 by neighboring South Africa, Shaya was asked to captain the team for the return match which they eventually drew 1-1.[2]

George-Shaya With Victory Cup


  1. Soccer Star of the Year (1969)
  2. Soccer Star of the Year (1972)
  3. Soccer Star of the Year (1975)
  4. Soccer Star of the Year (1976)
  5. Soccer Star of the Year (1977)
Dynamos legend & five-time soccer star of the year, George "Mastermind" Shaya (far right) talking to Ian Douglas Smith (far left), then Prime Minister of colonial Zimbabwe. April 12, 1970.

Health Problems

Battle with Dementia

George Shaya was diagnosed with the disease in 2014 which basically tampers with his memory such that he may fail to remember certain details about his life such as his way home, how many children or other things that come to mind easily when probed.[4] Despite suffering from the ailment, Shaya still smoked and drank which was said to be aggravating his condition.[4]

Leg Amputation

On 27 February 2019, Shaya had his left leg amputated at Parirenyatwa Hospital. The leg was infected by an undisclosed disease. He was 72 years old. George Shaya's medical bills were paid for by Dairibord, whose CEO, Anthony Mandiwanza is a former top referee.[5]


George Shaya died on 24 August 2021, at his home in Glen Norah, Harare.


George Shaya is the only local footballer to have been crowned footballer of the year five times and of those five, three were successive seasons.


  1. JUST IN: Shaya alive, still admitted in hospital, The Herald, Published: 06 Mar 2019, Retrieved: 06 Mar 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 George Shaya, Rhodesian Sport Profiles, Published: October 17, 2012, Retrieved: July 8, 2014
  3. Albert Marufu, Shaya’s shattered teaching dream, The Standard, Published: August 18, 2013, Retrieved: July 8, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Farai Machamire George Shaya battles ill-health, Daily News, Published: January 26, 2015, Retrieved: January 27, 2015
  5. SHAYA POSITIVE, DESPITE AMPUTATION, The Herald, Published: 01 Mar 2019, Retrieved: 06 Mar 2019