Kaizer Chiefs a uniting force

Amakhosi a uniting force.

From the early years of its formation Kaizer Chiefs has always been a unifying force in South Africa and Africa, both socially, economically and politically creating an environment whereby players from the most marginalized regions of the country and the region could get the opportunity to change their social circumstances through sport.

Chiefs have been able to bring in players of various backgrounds, cultures, religions and nationalities from various African countries over the clubs forty- nine- year history to turn out for the team. The Amakhosi has been home to players from 15 African countries at various times in its history, with players coming to Chiefs and then moving onto other clubs around the globe, Chiefs has aided in launching several African players careers.

Chiefs have been represented by highly talented hard-working players from no less than 15 African countries such as Burundi, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Ghana, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Players who have brought great success to the team and won the admiration of the team’s fans with their hardworking ethos.

The Amakhosi from inception has had players from outside of South Africa representing the team in its first official league season in 1971. It had the Namibian player Herman ‘Pele’ Blaschke in its ranks as he contributed with 21 goals in all competitions that season and helped Chiefs win the 1971 Life Challenge cup.

In Chiefs title winning season in 2003-04 the consistent and hard- working Zimbabwean international Tinashe Nengomasha was an important player for Chiefs playing in 27 league games and was named as the Premier Soccer League Player of the Season as Chiefs also won the Coca Cola Cup that season.

A season later in 2004-05 Chiefs again won the league and Coca Cola Cup thanks to the 25 Absa Premiership goals and 10 cup goals making it a total of 35 goals in all competitions scored by the Zambian international Collins Mbesuma, whose goals fired Chiefs to the league title and along the way he won the affection of the Chiefs fans winning them over as he was nicknamed ‘Ntofontofo’.

Famously in the 2005-06 season Ugandan international David Obua became the first Chiefs player in the PSL Era to score in two league games home and away in the same season against Orlando Pirates as Chiefs completed a league double over Pirates in the PSL Era for the first time. Defeating them 2-0 at home and 1-0 away, with his feat against Pirates in 2005-06 Obua was the first Chiefs player since Doctor Khumalo in 1987 to score in home and away league games in the same season against Pirates.

Obua looks back on his time at Chiefs and the years he lived in South Africa with fondness, “everyone at Chiefs was always nice at the club and the fans. My teammates always made me feel welcome I fitted in immediately, and I never felt out of place or like I was in a strange place. Chiefs always created an environment whereby we were all working as one – we were a team with players from various countries and we were always a united unit”.

Obua also has message which he hopes to send out, “on the sporting side scoring in the derbies against Pirates also helped as the fans loved me for that and even the Pirates fans respected me for those goals to this day. On the social end, it is sad to see what is happening at this time because for me the people of South Africa were always friendly and kind. We as Africans need to work as one. We will surge forward by helping each other and drawing from the positivity we generate”.

Chiefs history is invariably intertwined with that of the sporting history of the African continent as the club has always and will continue to be a showcase for African players that it can acquire. Chiefs have over 49 years been grateful to the contributions of the African players they have brought into the club.

Say no to Xenophobia, Love and Peace for all.