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Football fraternity mourns

05 Nov 2014

The most loyal fan of both Botswana’s national football team, Zebras, and Township Rollers, Samuel Rakgowa died on Saturday, November 1, leaving the football fraternity shocked.

As if he knew it, the superfan’s last Facebook words on October 28 at 12:38pm went thus: Ke kopa le ntsenye mo dithapelong tsa lona fa le robala, ka 12, ka 3 le phakela le tsoga, ke mo letshogong, ke mo ditsietsing, ke mo thakathanong, mme hela Modimo o ta mpabalela, ke bua jana ke leba ko ZUID Hospital Pretoria. Ke ta tsmaa le Modimo le sale le ene.

Township Rollers’ public relations officer, Bafana ‘Phemperetlhe’ Phetho said in an interview that Rakgowa died on Saturday in Pretoria where he had gone for a medical operation.

Pheto said Rollers had lost a supporter who was visible at every game his team played, adding that whenever the chips were down, the ever cheerful fan would sing and dance until the last whistle. “He was a true motivator to whom life always seemed usual even when some of us were in panic mode. We have lost a very valuable supporter at Township Rollers,” he said.

The late Rakgowa was not your ordinary football devotee, but a lifelong and highly valued football follower who was always full of creativity and energy whenever his team was playing, earning himself the coveted title of ‘Number 1 supporter of both Zebras and Township Rollers.

He used to decorate almost all the games of his teams with his regalia no matter how far they were playing. The lanky fan commanded respect from all football supporters with his rather strange attire.

The overzealous Rakgowa once made a great entrance into the UB Stadium wearing a child’s nappy when the Zebras were playing against Malawi in the AFCON 2012 qualifiers.

One Malawian journalist asked if it was not an offence to do so, but no one could stop him once he was in cloud nine with excitement. Another example of his antics was when the Zebras hosted Bafana Bafana in Gaborone in 2013.

He rode around the stadium in a donkey cart which was well decorated with Botswana colours, and the cheers reverberated around the entire stadium. The late Rakgowa was one supporter who had Atychiphobia (fear of failure), and he never wanted to see either the Zebras or Rollers fail.

He wanted one success after another; he enjoyed celebrating carpet football and goals all the time. His love for football did not go unnoticed. In 2012 he was given the chairperson’s award at the beMOBILE Premier League awards ceremony.

Rakgowa, who was employed at the Botswana National Sports Council, was also the second youth games mascot known as ‘Tshuku.’ On funeral arrangements, Pheto said Rollers have already contacted the deceased’s family and that funeral arrangements were ongoing.

The PRO said the late Rakgowa would be laid to rest at his home village of Mokokwana in the Central District on Sunday November 8. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Anastacia Sibanda

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : 05 Nov 2014