Emotional father teaches son the ropes
13 Nov 2023
The plot: It was intentional for TAFIC to beat NICO United 3-1 and collect maximum points.
These points will go a long way in contributing to the basket that will determine whether TAFIC stays afloat or sinks at the end of the 2023/24 season.
However, it was unintentional for Phillimon Makhwengwe to put the job of his son and mentee on the line. Paradoxical, yes! The sub plot.
When TAFIC visited NICO United the obvious talking point was Phillimon Makhwengwe going neck to neck with his 32 year-old son Wame Mokoke. Not just that, Makhwengwe is not only a father to Mokoke, but a mentor too.
Makhwengwe, clad in predominantly navy blue TAFIC travel shirt with some dark blue Adidas pants and a red cap while Mokoke on the other hand wore a white travel shirt, a predominantly green track bottoms and buried his head into a black bucket hat.
The two gaffers shouted and gesticulated the moves their boys should employ to outmaneuver opponents.
By his own admission, Makhwengwe endured an emotional Sunday at Sam Sono Stadium. He wore all of his caps yet he chose a secondary one: being a competitor to his son and smothering him with all his wealth of experience. A 3-1 drubbing left NICO still struggling to add to their three points accumulated from three draws.
“I’m on duty and I came here looking for points. It’s a pity I had to get the points against my son,” Makhwengwe said in a post-match interview who added that he was happy with the result.
Fast forward to the mid interview, it dawned on Makhwengwe that the result left his son teetering on precarious ground- relegation looking him straight in the eye.
“Emotionally, I feel sad. Yes, because this loss puts him under pressure,” said the father about his son before turning into a mentor.
“But I know he’ll bounce back because he’s one of the smartest coaches,” Makhwengwe the mentor said about his mentee son.
Quizzed if they ever talked about the game prior, the former Botswana Football Association technical director said that they communicated a lot even post-match.
The master was impressed with the tactics of his protégé. In fact, Makhwengwe held that Mokoke and his boys could have gotten away with points had they continued with their interplay which put TAFIC under pressure.
Beyond the game at Sam Sono Stadium, the Coca Cola Cup winner with Gaborone United aims to work on conversion of chances in the coming international break.
Unlike Makhwengwe who was at ease discussing his relationships with his son turned mentee and competitor, Mokoke prefers to steer a little bit far from the subject.
“I can’t say much about playing my mentor…we wanted to win, but unfortunately, we didn’t,” said Mokoke who tried by all means to avoid the father and son talk.
Mokoke conceded that they talked prior to the game though not a lot a lot. However, the mentee conceded that he communicated with his mentor regularly on football matters.
Focusing at the job at hand, Mokoke probably derived strength from his mentor’s belief in his fortitude and ability to turn things around.
Chances are that NICO could be wielding a sharp axe for the youthful gaffer, but the soft-spoken Mokoke is at ease and very much alive to possibilities of dismissal in the wake of poor performance.
“When results are not coming the coach has to be fired,” said Mokoke who replied, “No!” when quizzed if he feared for his job.
Mokoke, who was asked about the problem engulfing NICO said the team was missing chances while simultaneously failing to defend.
His defensive wall cracked easily, allowing Vincent Lekorwe to open the TAFIC scoring account before Thabiso Bante conjured a brace for the visitors. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Manowe Motsaathebe
Location : SELEBI PHIKWE
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 13 Nov 2023