Still In Touch With...

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

Soccer Laduma - - Make Your Point - JA­COB MOKHASI (PART 1) By Lunga Adam

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.

Yikes!

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?

Yes!

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.

Go on…

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.”

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