The two Kaizers and the Derby

Chairman Kaizer Motaung and his son Kaizer Motaung have both played in the Soweto Derby, an incredible feat. The KC Website asked them a few questions.

First Derby

Kaizer Motaung senior

The first Derby was the Rogue Beer Cup on 24 January 1970, 17 days after Kaizer Chiefs were founded. There was obviously a very intense mood at the time, as four players, including myself, and the team manager (Ewert Nene) were from Orlando Pirates. We were determined to prove something and that’s what we did, despite eventually losing 6-4. We had that burning desire to make a mark. That’s what drove me. And we certainly proved a point that day.

Kaizer Motaung junior

Everybody who has played in a Soweto Derby has the same experience – it’s impossible to explain to somebody who hasn’t played in the Derby how immense it is. It is simply unexplainable. The Derby is such a sought-after and supported event. It is all about doing battle for your family and for the supporters. The feeling on the day of the Derby is something indescribable such as when one sees, for example, that sea of supporters dressed in the Gold and Black jersey. Playing in the Derby is the highest level of achievement, it’s second to none. Of course, for me, there was the added pressure of being the son of the legendary Mister Motaung. A lot of people followed my performance closely. They wanted to see how I would hold myself. However, I managed to cope with their expectations.

Scoring a goal in the Derby

Kaizer Motaung senior

Scoring in the Derby is always something special. For me, on a personal level, it was also about proving a point, especially as I was especially targeted by the opposition at the time. That’s why it was so special to find the back of the net. It was an achievement of which I am very proud.

Kaizer Motaung junior

It’s every player’s dream to score in the Soweto Derby. My first official Derby goal came in the 2010/2011 season, netting the opener in a 1-1 draw (26 February 2011). I will never forget that goal. It was extraordinary. Time stood still when I was celebrating. I saw the supporters celebrating and the passion on the stands. However, I didn’t hear anything – it felt like I was in another zone. There was absolute silence. It was surreal, but what an amazing experience.

What makes the Derby so special?

Kaizer Motaung senior

The Soweto Derby defines the whole soccer spectacle in South Africa. It defines what football is all about. It’s amazing to see how the Derby grew into this fierce rivalry between the two sides. It is one sporting event that brings the entire country to a standstill for a moment.

Kaizer Motaung junior

The Derby is a fabulous occasion, but this is also because of the rich history behind it – the foundation of Kaizer Chiefs in 1970. Just try to visualise the imagination the Chairman had at the time. The history of Kaizer Chiefs is an inspirational journey. The Chairman played for Orlando Pirates and that fact alone resulted in the Derby becoming the arena for such great rivalry between the two clubs. However, I think that the Derby also brings people together.

Nervous before playing in the Derby?

Kaizer Motaung senior

I must confess I felt energised during the week ahead of the Derby. One really looks forward to a game of that nature, as the Derby will be on everybody lips. Just before the game kicks off, when you are in the dressing room, that’s when you feel that nervousness. However, once you have that first touch of the ball, all the nerves are gone and you are ready to play.

 Kaizer Motaung junior

No, surprisingly not. I was never nervous before a big game. It was just a case of focussing on the match and on playing football.

Best teammate that played in the Derby?

Kaizer Motaung senior

The Derby is unlike any other occasion. Every player is charged up for the game. You want to do something extra in the Derby and it’s pushing you. You have that desire to do well and everybody wants to prove a point. That’s why I prefer not to mention a single player, as every player knows what he wants to achieve on the day of the Derby.

Kaizer Motaung junior

I don’t want to single out one player. I had teammates like Thabo Mooki, Jabu Pule (Mahlangu), Collins Mbesuma and Shaun Bartlett. It was an honour to play with all these guys. At the old FNB Stadium, if John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu or Mooki did something special on the ball, the section on the far side would erupt, cheering loudly – it was an area (called ‘522’) where only Kaizer Chiefs supporters were sitting. That was something magnificent. So again, to be able to play with so many great players was something special. We formed a team and that’s why I don’t really want to pick individual players.