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
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
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