The Star Late Edition
TTM parades first ever trophy in Polokwane
THERE was a celebratory atmosphere in the Polokwane CBD yesterday when hundreds of people came out to witness the trophy parade by the 2021 Nedbank Champions Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).
Vhadau Vha Damani, who are based in Polokwane, clinched the bragging rights and the R7 million prize money after they narrowly eclipsed Chippa United 1-0 in an exciting cup final in Bloemfontein last Saturday, to win the first ever major trophy for the Limpopo side.
They have also booked a place in next season’s CAF Confederations Cup in the process.
This is the second trophy in recent years for the province, after Baroka FC won the Telkom Knockout in the 2018/19 season.
The homecoming celebrations kicked off at Meropa Casino, where MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture Thandi Moraka hosted the champions for breakfast.
The streets of Polokwane came alive with cars hooting, people clapping and whistling, with screams of “Leberekile” (well done), as a convoy of about 30 cars zig-zagged along the streets of Limpopo’s capital.
Leading the convoy was a red cabriolet, carrying chairman and owner of the club Didonkana Abraham Sello and team captain Lehlohonolo Nonyane.
Sello has since decided to give the entire R7m winnings to his players,
staff and other members of the team, including cleaners.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, Sello expressed his pride in the team he recently acquired from Bidvest Wits, who sold their premiership status to TTM.
“I’m really proud of these players because they showed real fighting spirit. It was a surprise because we beat big teams to win this cup – when we beat Mamelodi Sundowns, we knew the cup was as good as ours.
“Many were worried as to why I bought a team that was near relegation. But what they didn’t know is that I knew the team had potential. Here we are today. They won the Nedbank Cup,” said Sello.
On how Nonyane was able to lead his charges to victory, the team captain said: “Through God, everything is possible. It was not only me who led the team, in the side we have a lot of seasoned campaigners and so we all helped each other.
“We are grateful for the win, but now have to focus on the premiership. All that we can say to the people of Limpopo is that they should just keep on supporting us. It has not been an easy journey but, with them, it gets easier.”
Phuthi Hlahla, 21, a fan who witnessed the parade, said: “I’m proud of the success seen so far. We have seen the parade and, as a young man from Limpopo, I’m inspired that a team as small as this could win big things. Today we are proud Limpopians.”
TTM’s win, however, did not go without controversy. Reportedly, some of the senior members had given back their medals to the PSL, in solidarity with their teammates who had not received medals.
However, both Nonyane and Sello dismissed the reports.
Moraka said: “I salute all the players for putting Limpopo province on the national sport and recreational map.”