The tears of ‘dark horse’ Mosi­mane

Pitso Mosi­mane, the first black coach to win the PSL ti­tle twice, shows what black coaches can achieve if given op­por­tu­ni­ties, writes Saint Papa Mo­lak­eng

CityPress - - Sport -

At first I down­played Mamelodi Sun­downs coach Pitso “Jin­gles” Mosi­mane’s suc­cess, just like the fans of the for­merly all­con­quer­ing Kaizer Chiefs.

But nope, the per­verted racism of black (non-white) foot­ball fans is not only sub­lim­i­nal, it’s con­spic­u­ous and em­bar­rass­ing.

It’s self-hat­ing. And white­wor­ship­ping. All the more mor­ti­fy­ing, as it still hap­pens in 2016.

Racism in­tox­i­cates them so much that they even be­come apo­lit­i­cal; they even for­get about af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion, which im­proved their lives, de­spite their lin­ger­ing in­ad­e­qua­cies im­posed by apartheid racism.

My Soweto neigh­bour Gift Zulu is a die-hard Chiefs sup­porter, sober or soused. At the time when Mosi­mane was re­lieved of his du­ties as Bafana Bafana coach, I asked Zulu: “Why don’t Chiefs hire Mosi­mane?”

“What has Pitso won?” Zulu re­sponded.

That re­tort was not un­ex­pected. Chiefs owner Kaizer Mo­taung had, for years, said no South African coach, let alone a black one, could man­age his club.

It did not mat­ter to Mo­taung that, by be­com­ing state pres­i­dent, Nel­son Man­dela had proved that blacks could suc­ceed, with­out ex­pe­ri­ence, in any role.

It did not mat­ter to Mo­taung that Madiba and other black peo­ple had fought for the lib­er­a­tion that al­lowed him to leave Soweto to re­side in any pre­vi­ously whites-only sub­urb, and ac­cess op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­vi­ously barred to blacks.

Now Mosi­mane has be­come the first black coach to bag the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle twice.

The rest were whites who had mo­nop­o­lised coach­ing priv­i­leges: Stu­art Bax­ter (twice), Gavin Hunt (thrice), Ted Du­mitru and Gordon Ige­sund (four times).

So, had Sun­downs owner Pa­trice Mot­sepe not handed the reins to Mosi­mane, South Africa would still not have a black PSL-ti­tle win­ning coach.

Mo­taung’s my­opia to the re­al­i­ties of South Africa is atro­cious. How did he, prob­a­bly the big­gest foot­ball stake­holder in South Africa, not con­sider blacks as coach­ing ma­te­rial?

When Mosi­mane caught up with Chiefs’ 11-point lead to seize the league crown two years ago, no one cel­e­brated the fact that he had out­classed Bax­ter, a Bri­ton 11 years his se­nior, who had coached in su­pe­rior leagues.

Fur­ther­more, the fans didn’t throw mis­siles at Bax­ter when he had a poor start dur­ing his first months with Chiefs.

So where should black coaches earn the Big Team Tem­per­a­ment one black foot­ball mag­a­zine jour­nal­ist said of Steve Kom­phela’s “un­suit­abil­ity” for Chiefs?

A lot of clap­trap has been used to in­sult Mosi­mane.

“He’s too full of him­self. He makes noise,” one Or­lando Pirates fan said.

The day af­ter Sun­downs took their sec­ond league ti­tle on May 5, a tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ist asked view­ers: “Was Sun­downs helped by Aces [which drew against sec­ond-placed Bid­vest Wits a day be­fore]?”

At the time Sun­downs still had two matches to play, and could have won the league on their own (they later whipped the same Wits 2-0 and pipped Plat­inum Stars 1-0, thereby set­ting a record of clinch­ing the league with 71 points).

So, do Le­ices­ter City – who were “helped” by Chelsea, which drew against sec­ond-placed Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur to au­to­mat­i­cally seize the league – owe the honours to Spurs?

That ques­tion wasn’t posed over the Le­ices­ter cham­pi­onship. In­stead, there were ful­some praises for the Foxes and their “fairy tale” suc­cess. The South African tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ist didn’t ask about Mosi­mane’s recipe for suc­cess as a “dark horse” who broke through. That he and his “boys” worked hard, that he had a good tech­ni­cal team, that his “lovely” wife coped when he wasn’t there – that he had been am­bi­tious, as he said in a pointed cel­e­bra­tion speech.

Only Mosi­mane, af­ter out­class­ing idolised white coaches, can earn such ten­den­tious treat­ment from the me­dia and pub­lic.

The same treat­ment prob­a­bly awaits Kgoloko Thobe­jane, the school­teacher who gave up teach­ing to coach his Lim­popo team, Baroka FC, to see the new club pro­moted to the PSL on May 22.

Ear­lier this year, many blacks were hop­ing that Mosi­mane didn’t win the league again, or win the Ned­bank Cup or CAF tro­phy.

Only Ruud Krol, a Dutch coach in his six­ties, was seen as good enough to win a tre­ble with a team (Or­lando Pirates) in 2010 to 2011. Mosi­mane, for such am­bi­tions, galled peo­ple for be­ing too big for his boots.

They don’t al­low blacks to dream with chutz­pah, do they?

Those of us who care for black progress should salute Mosi­mane on and off the pitch. Salute him for his tears, too! Mo­lak­eng was a Pirates fan, but crossed to Sun­downs when his beloved Buc­ca­neers ap­pointed Eric Tin­kler and Mosi­mane was ap­pointed at Downs 1 2 3

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

BEST FOOT FOR­WARD Khama Bil­liat won big dur­ing the PSL Awards at Em­per­ors Palace in Kemp­ton Park Al­lan Freese knows that a vic­tory over AmaTuks would put him in a good po­si­tion

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

RE­SPECT Pitso Mosi­mane’s tears of joy must be cel­e­brated

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