By FOCUS REPORTER
DESPITE the doctor’s recommendation to rest Mzion in hospital for three days, preventing him from attending his own party due to sudden illness, football supporters and stakeholders did not stop showering Johannes Nale Mofokeng with memoirs and congratulatory messages for his outstanding achievement of completing 50 years as a football supporter while celebrating his 61st Birthday. It was rather saddening to learn during the course of the Mzion as he is known in football circles, was subsequent to routine check-ups admitted at the local Hospital owing to Doctor’s recommendation to do so to stabilize his condition.
Dejan “Malaka” Miladinovic, a friend, a brother to the latter and a prominent supporter of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana, shared his moments of reminiscence from the journey they he travelled with Mzion and many more other supporters as a football supporter back in the day.
“I remember the day when I met Mzion and Saddam at Bree in Johannesburg for the first time in 1999. They accepted and me as a brother and were prepared to take me through the ranks of football. On the same day, we started discussing about how much we wanted to attend AFCON in Burkina Faso and found ourselves stuck because of lack of financial support. Mzion, Saddam Maake, the late Mamelodi Sundowns’ number one supporter, I only remember as Super and myself pioneered a joint venture with the SABC, in the form of Siyanqoba Campaign, through the former SABC Boss, Mr. Dali Mpofu” reminisced the Serbian born Malaka.
Dejan also commended Mzion for dedicating his life to football, not for the money or fame but for the love of the game. He thanked the organisers for celebrating Mzion’s achievements while he is still alive
Speaking on behalf of the main sponsor of the event, Vereeniging Cash Carry (VCC), Thabo Seholoba, Customer Relations Manager told the crowd half-painted in Orlando Pirates colours that VCC values and recognizes the contribution Mzion has made to football.
“VCC has grown to become a brand that has been able to reach out to small markets in the Sedibeng and Northern Free State communities, through the ambassadorship of Mzion. Everything he touches moves” he said.
Among the dignitaries who graced the event was Thabo Daniels, Sports presenter and anchor at the SABC.
Speaking in his personal capacity, Daniels said Mofokeng has been an “advantageous, cooperative and flexible” person who always accommodated them, when requested to do TV or Radio interviews.
“His proficiency in vernacular made him the obvious choice when it comes to interviews. He always availed himself for the interviews and he does for the love of the game. I want to commend him for outgrowing petty issues of segregating football supporters according to the teams they support and championing unity of football supporters” Daniels said.
In event that was sponsored by among other football stakeholders, Soccer Laduma, South African Football Supporters’Association (SAFSA), South African Football Association (SAFA) and Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (GDSACR), football supporters turned the venue a grand stand when they rendered celebratory football supporters songs while blowing vuvuzelas.
SAFSA’s Executive Director, Siyabulela Makunga described Mzion as a selfless and legendary football supporter out of whom the current generation need to take good lessons.
‘’Mzion has inspired many in football for his undying support for Orlando Pirates Football Club and National Football Teams. The current generation and many yet to come must take good lessons from the immeasurable achievements of Mzion. When I started working with him I was amazed by his ideas, leadership virtues and how much he understood the administration of football. He gave me all the reasons to pursue an idea of establishing a strong National Representative Body of all football supporters’’ Makunga said.
SAFSA awarded Mzion with a framed Bafana Bafana replica jersey autographed by Soccer Legends, Bafana Bafana squad and Technical Team that faced Kenya Wednesday night in Rustenburg, Media Personalities, Football Supporters and Administrators.
Mzion Mofokeng, Gladys Gailey, Saddam Maake, the late “Nyawana” and “Mguyo” are the original founders of SAFSA.
SAFSA would like to take this opportunity to wish Mzion a speedy and permanent recovery.
Happy 50th Anniversary Mzion! Mofokeng WA tshele, WA lekotwane, Wa seja mutla ole mo tala!