We lost a great war­rior

Soccer Laduma - - Siyag Bhoza -

Vuyani Joni: Brighton, are you aware of the Or­lando Pi­rates 80 Leg­ends’ cam­paign?

Brighton Mh­longo: Yes, I am aware of it and I even read about it in last week’s edi­tion of Soc­cer Lad­uma.

VJ: Great. One of the 12 Leg­ends who have to fill the five spots avail­able to make the 80 Leg­ends’ list is your for­mer close team­mate and friend, the late Senzo Meyiwa, whose fourth com­mem­o­ra­tion was last Fri­day.

BM: Look, I think for a player of Nzori’s cal­i­bre, he de­serves to be there be­cause he stood the test of times through­out, from de­vel­op­ment to the first team, un­til his un­timely death. I feel he is some­one who gave his all for the team. He knew the team’s cul­ture very well; he knew what it meant to don that Black and White jersey and rep­re­sented the club with ab­so­lute pride and hon­our. For me, I think through­out his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, he showed a lot of char­ac­ter and be­ing a true Buc­ca­neer. He de­serves to be re­mem­bered as one of the top 80 Leg­ends of the club. With all the tur­bu­lences he went through, all the tri­als and tribu­la­tions, the man still re­mained fo­cused and dis­ci­plined be­cause he loved Pi­rates. I be­lieve he is one of the great­est to ever wear the Pi­rates jersey.

VJ: What stood out for you about Senzo?

BM: There are so many qual­i­ties I can think of... yes, peo­ple can talk about the Lubum­bashi trip and what he achieved for the club on the day when we played TP Mazembe un­der very hos­tile cir­cum­stances. For me, the what stood out was his un­selfish char­ac­ter and be­ing there for ev­ery­one when they needed him, re­gard­less of whether he was play­ing or not. When the team needed him the most, after Moe­neeb Josephs suf­fered an in­jury with the team chas­ing the league ti­tle, he showed up big time. He grabbed the chance with both hands. For a goal­keeper who had not been play­ing reg­u­larly, for such a long time, to be called up at such a crit­i­cal stage of the season, and go on to do as well as he did, re­quired a lot of char­ac­ter and a strong mind­set. He did so well and I can still re­mem­ber the last-minute save he pulled off from a Collins Mbe­suma shot, in our last game of 2010/11 against Golden Ar­rows. That save stood be­tween us win­ning the league ti­tle and fin­ish­ing sec­ond – that’s just how cru­cial it was. He was so strong and con­fi­dent. He was never some­one who was about him­self only; he al­ways put the team first and gave his all for Pi­rates, which is why I feel he should def­i­nitely make the cut for the 80 Leg­ends.

VJ: Right.

BM: His un­for­tu­nate death is still fresh in my mind, like I woke up to­day (Fri­day) think­ing about him as it has be­come a dif­fer­ent and sad day for me. On this day (Oc­to­ber 26), I al­ways feel for Rooi Ma­hamutsa be­cause it is his birth­day and Senzo’s un­timely and un­for­tu­nate death hap­pened on his birth­day. It al­ways hits us hard and I know we lost a great war­rior, a true friend, brother and a fa­ther. There are lit­tle things that re­mind me of Senzo ev­ery day, even when I’m on the field. I al­ways think, “Eish, if only iouti yam ebisas­ekhona (my brother was still around)”, but life goes on and we just have to carry the baton and make sure that we keep his legacy in the best pos­si­ble way. We just have to try and hon­our him through do­ing great things that he did for ev­ery­one around him and his club. Nzori was a very happy and lov­ing per­son. He was a beau­ti­ful soul and I want to be the bless­ing he was to me and ev­ery­one around him, to oth­ers as well. I think of him and Alex (goal­keeper coach, Alexan­dre Revoredo), who is also no more, and smile be­cause I know wher­ever they are they are happy and dancing just like we used to do to­gether.

VJ: Brighton, thanks for your time. Any­thing you’d like to add be­fore we let you go?

BM: Thanks, groot­man. I’d like to urge the sup­port­ers to vote for Nzori be­cause that’s the least we can do to hon­our and thank him for ev­ery­thing he’s done for the club. He helped take us from the gut­ters to greater heights and he’s a true Buc­ca­neer that de­serves more than enough votes to en­sure he is one of the 80 Leg­ends. His blood was Black and White as he was one of us from child­hood un­til his un­timely pass­ing. It would be a great ges­ture for us to con­tinue his legacy so that the next gen­er­a­tion can learn from his his­tory. So I ap­peal to the sup­port­ers vote him in so that he con­tin­ues to rest in peace.

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