As Kaizer Chiefs turns a proud 52 today, Chairman Kaizer Motaung has hailed the generations of supporters the Club has served to entertain and positively influence along its storied journey.
“This is a day that will be remembered long after we have left. It is a great day indeed, the day this baby was born to bring some excitement to the entire football community. To me it is one of the greatest days ever in my sporting life, when we started this beautiful organisation called Kaizer Chiefs,” Motaung said of the Club’s milestone.
“When we started, we had a lot of sceptics who thought we were maybe not serious and that we were just taking a chance. Little did they know that some of us had this burning desire to actually be part of a great thing. Great in the sense that we wanted it to be something South African people could be proud of. I must say I’m feeling very vindicated. There were those who said we wouldn’t even last one season. The reason we succeeded is because we understood this was an enormous challenge and that it required our 110 percent commitment, which meant we had to invest our whole lives on this beautiful brand, which we did.”
As is custom, he hailed the Club’s founding fathers and supporters who have been with the Club since day one, “especially those who have departed and left us to continue with the journey”.
“Our exercise was not one in futility and one we can be very proud of. Today every third person you meet out there is a Kaizer Chiefs follower. It just shows the magnitude of this brand and what it means to people. This brand has had a very serious influence on the lives of many people in this country. We are still confronted with many challenges. Getting where we are was not easy, but we were determined to succeed and achieve what we set out to do,” says Motaung.
“I do hope with the new up and coming generations this will continue in leaps and bounds and that they will understand the history of this brand and understand where it comes from. Hence, they will have to know its significance. It is a brand about the people, not individuals. We are here to serve the people and I’m happy that I’ve served people for so long, with the help of those around us who have been part of this journey,” the Amakhosi Chairman added.
For all its achievements, its journey has not been a bed of roses and the Club has encountered many “stumbling blocks” along the way.
He paused to pay tribute to those supporters who lost their lives supporting the Club they so loved, and those who passed on after serving the brand with distinction, saying the Club “must be able to feel their presence” in everything it does.
“The Club’s birthday is a day I hold very dear to my heart,” says the Chiefs Chairman. “We are celebrating another birthday this year as the globe continues to battle the unprecedented global COVID pandemic.
“As we continue with the journey, we are now in a very new environment in terms of what has befallen the world. Covid-19 has hit us very heavily. When it started we were aiming to celebrate our 50th anniversary and things looked very bright until COVID hit us and we had to play under difficult conditions and could not end our 50th year with the league trophy, which was in our hands until the last 30 minutes of the season.”
Covid-19 continues to make life very difficult for the Club.
“Just recently we had an outbreak which was unprecedented in the country, where we had over 50 people affected, and which rendered us inactive. We could not play two games because we had to shut down the Village. We can never forget what has happened to us because of the pandemic and we extend our deepest condolences to those who left us, in all different sections of society, who became victims of this pandemic,” says Motaung.
The Amakhosi Chairman hoped that in this “new normal” things will change and that once more we “will be able to live a normal life and be able to enjoy what God has given us”.
“I wish to thank God for his blessings, for having given us the strength and wisdom for us to continue to serve people and make people happy. To our supporters whom we miss very much because of this pandemic, we miss you, but things will change, and God will provide for us to live a normal life once more. I wish to thank our partners, sponsors and everybody else who has played a significant role in ensuring we continue to meet the challenges that have needed their help. And all who made a contribution to this beautiful brand. We thank them for having been part of our journey. We thank the Premier Soccer League and the South African Football Association and everyone that made a contribution towards the development of sport in this country,” says Motaung.
All who have contributed to the success of the Club “have helped to ensure we leave a good legacy for when the time is up for a new generation to take over”.
“I wish everyone everything of the best, all the Amakhosi family. Let’s keep the faith and continue the commitment we have made from the beginning to become a global brand representing our country,” the Kaizer Chiefs Chairman concluded.