Gwanzura Stadium is located on the heart of Zimbabwe's capital city Harare in the suburb of Highfield. It is bordered by Mushandirapamwe Hotel, Machipisa council bar, bus station, Jerusalem suburb and by a BP station owned by the Tawengwas.
It was built by the brothers Eric and Phanuel Gwanzura to defy colonial restrictions on access to sporting infrastructure for black Africans. Gwanzura Stadium became the first home to Dynamos Football Club which was formed in 1963. According to Eric Gwanzura’s obituary produced by the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services says the stadium was the first Fifa approved venue in Zimbabwe.
Harare City Council is in charge of the upkeep of Gwanzura Stadium. The local authority which operates under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works, and National Housing is responsible for its maintenance, well being and upkeep. Besides sporting activities, the local authority also hires the stadium for other activities such as musical concerts, weddings and parties.
The Home of Happiness
Eric Gwanzura and his brother Phanuel built a stadium in Highfield which was named Gwanzura Stadium after their surname, a name it carries to this day. The stadium was part of their efforts to provide recreational facilities for the blacks and became the first Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) approved soccer stadium in the country. This initiative brought happiness to the blacks for they were afforded time to watch their beloved teams in action and get time to forget about the troubles of colonialism they faced during the 1960s. This is the reason why the former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe had pledged to spearhead the efforts to upgrade the stadium to international standards in recognition of the initiative made by the late Eric Gwanzura and his brother Phanuel.
Gwanzura Stadium and Football
Talking of Rufaro Stadium in Zimbabwe can be equated to a football talk. Since the 1960s, Gwanzura Stadium has been used as Dynamos Football Club's home ground. Being one of the successful teams which has stand the taste of time in the country, the stadium has hosted a number of crucial local, friendly and international matches. Teams such as Caps United Football Club and Black Rhinos Football Club have also used the stadium as their home ground. Dynamos used the stadium during their preliminary rounds of the 2008 CAF Champions League and defeated the defending champions Etoil du Sahel of Tunisia 1-0 to set the tone for a tournament they went on to reach the semi-finals. DeMbare also used the stadium in 2007 after the closure of Rufaro Stadium for renovations and won their 2007 league title after 10 years of trying.
The official seating capacity of the stadium is 10 000. The bulk of the seats are in the Grand Stand wing. There is also the VIP wing which houses important guests during matches.