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The playing career of Jacob Mokhasi began in 2001 at Bidvest Wits. He went on to feature for African Warriors, SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates, Dedebit in Ethiopia and Black Leopards, before deciding to hang up his gloves and focus on coaching. Current
Jacob, we live in such depressing times and we thought we would give you a call so that you can make us laugh and forget our troubles for a moment… Invite accepted! Seeing there are so many stories, one does not even know where to start.
Start at the beginning.
It all began in 2001, at Bidvest Wits. We had a striker named Stewart Murisa from Zimbabwe and I’m sure most Soccer Laduma readers will remember him. The two of us were staying in the same complex. He seemed to be a regular feature in the team line-up, and then this status quo was disturbed for about three games. So that when dear Roger de Sa announced the squad travelling to camp for the next game and Murisa found out he was, again, not in the team, he decided he was going to let rip. Upon announcing the team, the coach customarily asked the players, “Are you guys okay?” Murisa, as if by invitation, raised his hand, stood up and fired, “Ehh, Roger, I think it’s been four games now that I haven’t been in the team. I think it’s high time now that I change my name from Stewart Murisa to Stuart Morris!” Ha, ha, ha… that’s because back in those days Wits were a predominantly white team. Roger could not have seen that one coming, that’s for sure.
My time at SuperSport United was littered with interesting experiences. For one, the coach, Gavin Hunt, was some character. So it is that, on this one day, we were playing small-sided games and I was not okay. I was conceding goals left, right and centre and Ricardo Katza was making jokes about it. I went up to him and said, “I’m sorry, my friend, sorry.” After the training session, I went up to Gavin Hunt and said, “GH, I’m going to f**k up Katza. I’m going to destroy him.” Guess what, Gavin said, “Go and f**k up the bastard! I’ll say I didn’t see anything.” Ha, ha, ha. By now, there was fire in my belly as I walked into the dressing room. Katza threw a boot in my face and to say that I destroyed him would be an understatement. The next day, Katza went to Gavin and said, “Coach, I had a fight with Jacob.” Gavin retorted, “What the f**k must I do? I didn’t see anything! What happened?” Ha, ha, ha. He also coached me at Moroka Swallows, where we used to have a prayer before each and every training session. So on this particular occasion he expressed a desire to be the one leading the prayer, and we let him be. The short prayer went along these lines: “God, please, we must have a fight in this team. These players must fight each other now. I’m tired of this thing. Amen.” Ha, ha, ha. Do you remember Thabo Mongalo?
He was our striker at SuperSport.
We were playing 11 v 11 at training, but Gavin was absent (a very rare occasion). The late Thomas Madigage and Kwanele Kopo were in charge of the session. Kopo and Mongalo had a disagreement, but I’m not sure what it was about because I was on the other side of the pitch. Apparently, after all was said and done, Kopo informed Mongalo that he was going to snitch on him to Gavin. Just as promised, the following day, Kopo went to Gavin to tell him what went down between him and Mongalo the previous day. At that point, Mongalo was standing far on the other side, but loud and clear, he told Kopo, “Ja! Tell him! Tell him that I f***ed you up!” Ha, ha, ha.
This reminds me of the time we were playing at Lucas Moripe Stadium, although I can’t remember the opposition. Mongalo and I were sitting on the bench. Morgan Gould and Bongani Khumalo were making mistakes at the back. The opposition would play the ball up in the air looking for their strikers and Gould and Khumalo wouldn’t jump. Every time the ball was up in the air, Gavin would shout, “Okay, Morgan, don’t jump, I’ll jump for you!” Ha, ha, ha. Our strikers were also missing goals and, whenever they fired blanks, Gavin would put his hands on his head, turn towards Madigage and say, “Tommy, where’s Thabo Mongalo when I need him?” Mongalo would respond, “I’m here on the bench.” This must have gone on for a couple of times. Crazy. Gavin was a character, I’m telling you!
He still is.
One story that makes me laugh to this day happened when I was still playing amateur football and we went to play a league game. My two central defenders were not on good terms. In one instance, the opposition played the ball wide and one of the central defenders told the other one, “Go and mark, I will cover you.” Do you know what this guy said? He made a run towards the guy with the ball, but then stopped, turned and said, “Wena, you think you are the one to cover me? Never!” Ha, ha, ha. Eish, man, there’s too many stories. At African Warriors, we had this guy, Zakia Makoanyane. If ever a person were to be called ‘a joke’, then it is this man. In one game we played, I made a save and I was still on the ground. He was telling me, “Tsoha! Tsoha! U robetse (Wake up! Wake up! You are sleeping)!” The way he said it, deep Sotho accent and all, was funny. One time I was on the bench. Our coach was Molefi Ntseki, with Morena Ramoreboli the assistant coach. A ball was passed to Makoanyane’s side and it was about to go out for a throw-in just near our bench. We didn’t tell him that there was a man coming from behind him, so he took things easy wanting the ball to go out of play. All of a sudden appeared the opponent and got to the ball, but he was able to recover and concede a throw-in. He wasn’t impressed that no one told him there was a man coming from behind. He shouted, “Bo Molefi, bo Morena, le thutse, ha le boleli (The likes of Molefi, the likes of Morena, you are quiet, you don’t tell me) man on!”
Ha, ha, ha!
He and Lebajoa Mphongoa were the more senior players in the team and every Monday they would tell the youngsters, “Boys, today we are leading the warm-up. You are always making us run and we are tired of running. This is what the warm-up will be… we will walk all around the pitch, then run for two metres and then walk. That’s how you do the warm-up. That’s the warm-up of veterans.” So Makoanyane once had an altercation with our goalkeeper coach Gabriel Njerengwa, who is now the coach of Mangaung United. Njerengwa is an old guy. He said, “Zakia, Zakia, stop doing that.” We had formed a circle and then Makoanyane just stood up and said, “Gab, ke tla o
bliksema (I will beat you up)!” Ha, ha, ha. Even more unbelievable, he told the oldie, “Gab, o ngwana (you are a kid)!”
Ha, ha, ha, we gotta bring you back for Part 2 next week. Thanks, Lungsta, man.
“Roger could not have seen that one coming.” “Kopo and Mongalo had a disagreement.”