Motaung lauds Kaizer Chiefs’ unsung heroes

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Former Kaizer Chiefs players from different eras have commended the great vision of the founder and chairman of the club Kaizer Motaung.

The club’s legends, who have played for the club since its inception, were part of an event organised to celebrate Kaizer Motaung’s induction into the South African Hall of Fame.

Motaung was inducted into the Hall of Fame after being recognised as a former world-class footballer who went on to become a powerful administrator and influential businessman in South Africa.

The 79-year-old Motaung was inducted into the South African Hall of Fame at a glittering function in Johannesburg last Thursday. It was a chance for club legends to celebrate with the Kaizer Chiefs founder.

Motaung founded the club in 1970 and has left a lasting legacy in South African sport. Chiefs are the most supported club in the country over the years.

Motaung joins a list of distinguished South Africans who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. These include former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, golf legend Gary Player and boxing legend Vuyani Bungu.

“I’m greatly honoured and I feel very much happy to be in this type of atmosphere since last week Thursday. Things have been very exciting for me, so I feel very honoured to be given this award while I’m still in good shape. I think we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for all these players you see today, some of the founding fathers who are no longer with us. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think we would be here today. So, it is all about the whole journey we undertook since 1970,” says Motaung.

The 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cup winning teams as well as the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning teams were also recognized. The South African Hall of Fame aims to recognize and celebrate great achievements by extraordinary South Africans. The main aim is to respect South Africans who inspire the youth of today to become great future leaders.

SA Hall of Fame Chairperson Johnny Burger says, “We tend to forget all these great talents and the extraordinary achievements that they have achieved over their lifetime, and we have decided to erect the whole of Fame South Africa in November of 2016 so that we can inspire our youth in order for them to remember these remarkable achievements. In a hundred years from now when none of us are here anymore, their talent and their inspirational stories will still echo through the passages of the South African Hall of Fame.”

Former Chiefs players have all described Kaizer Motaung as a very special person. Joseph Banks Setlhodi, Jackie Masike, Zachariah Lamola, and Absalom Thindwa are some of the former greats who attended the function.

“Some of us are honoured and are privileged and we must always remember this day because not everyone comes to a situation like this. He is a big man Doctor Motaung is a big man. If you look at where he started and where he is right now, you can see that he is a thinker,” says former Kaizer Chiefs forward, Absalom Thindwa.

“Firstly, it’s an honour for me to be invited here with different generations and congratulations to Doctor Motaung Hall of Fame. I think, for some of us, we were given an opportunity to play for a massive club which is Kaizer Chiefs and some of us are being called skhokho mainly because of this club,” says former Kaizer Chiefs defender, Cyril Nzama.

Former Kaizer Chiefs forward Pollen Ndlanya says, “Obviously we are all here because of one man Dr Kaizer Motaung this is the man who made Pollen Ndlanya, who made this legacy Kaizer Chiefs. I’m Pollen Ndlanya because of him. Everywhere I go they will tell me Kaizer Chiefs legend, Pollen Ndlanya scoring goals. I feel honoured because this man gave me the opportunity.”

The South African Hall of Fame was established six years ago in the North West Province. It operated from Sun City Resort for five years before moving to FNB Stadium Johannesburg in January 2022.