We have asked five former Kaizer Chiefs players from five different decennia, starting with the foundation of the club on 7 January 1970 to now, to talk about their relationship with Chairman Kaizer Motaung for his 73rd birthday on Monday, 16 October 2017.
Vusi ‘Computer’ Lamola (1970s)
“We both come from a football background,” Vusi ‘Computer’ Lamola says about his friendship with Chairman, Kaizer Motaung.
The former midfielder was an Orlando Pirates supporter in the sixties, growing up in Orlando East.
“Kaizer was one of my heroes in those days,” he reflects on the period when Motaung was playing for the Buccaneers in the sixties. “I watched a lot of his games as a youngster. He was a goal getter, very pacy and a penetrative dribbler. However, above all, Kaizer was a team player.”
‘Computer’ was asked to join Kaizer Chiefs in 1971 by then team manager Ewert ‘The Lip’ Nene. This allowed Lamola to play with his hero, Motaung.
“I worshipped Kaizer,” he reflects, “to sit in the same dressing room as him and to play together in the same team was a privilege. That was something very special.”
Amakhosi won numerous trophies during those days, including their first league title in 1974. The midfielder, who was also nicknamed ‘Maria Maria’ and ‘General’, played for the Glamour Boys from 1971 until 1979.
“The secret of Chiefs’ strength in those days was teamwork, despite the individual stuff,” Lamola explains, “Kaizer was always stressing the importance of working as a team.”
On a personal level, ‘Computer’ says about Motaung: “Kaizer has always been a rather quiet person, only talking when necessary. He’s good-hearted, a hard worker and a smart dresser.” Lamola laughs when he mentioned the last two words.
“Look at Kaizer’s achievements,” he continues, “building a club from nothing into the biggest and best supported in South Africa. That’s impressive. To be able to do this, needs a lot of hard work and intelligence. Kaizer’s efforts were also always used constructively. He would never waste too much time on unimportant things.”
About Motaung’s 73rd birthday, Lamola says: “God created humankind not just to endure, but also to enjoy. Please find time to relax now and spend time with your family. Happy birthday!”