Dad at home, boss at work – Kaizer Junior
Dad at home, boss at work – Kaizer Junior

Posted in Features, News on Oct 16, 2017.

“He’s my dad at home and my boss at work,” says Kaizer Motaung Junior about his father, Kaizer Chiefs Chairman, Kaizer Motaung, who today, 16 October, celebrates his 73rd birthday.

Kaizer Junior played for Amakhosi from 2003 until 2014, being part of two league title wins and several cup trophy victories. He’s the only one of Motaung’s children who played professional soccer for the Glamour Boys.

“When I was a kid,” reflects the former striker, “I regularly went to the office, which was close to the Carlton Centre. I would often be found under the boardroom table.”

The youngster often travelled with the team in the bus to a home match and was at times spotted sitting on a cooler box on the side of the pitch at Rand or George Goch Stadium. “I was basically 24/7 with the team,” Kaizer Junior comments with a smile on his face.

When he was in primary school, father and son regularly went to a park near their house in Johannesburg. This is where Kaizer Motaung went jogging and also where he taught his son some soccer drills.

From the age of six until the Colts, Kaizer Junior played for Wits University which usually played their home games at Marks Park. “My dad often came along,” he looks back, “he would park his car and watch the match from there not wanting any attention on him should he step out.”

However, Kaizer Junior’s teammates sometimes spotted Chiefs’ Chairman. “They called him ‘Mister Wilson’, after one of the leading personalities in the sitcom Home Improvement. Mister Wilson was a neighbour. You would never fully see his face when he spoke from the other side of the fence.”

When the young striker/winger scored at a match he would excitedly ask his dad afterwards: “Did you see my goal?” Motaung, however, was usually unflustered, keeping the talented kid’s feet firmly on the ground. Instead, he preferred to give advice on how to improve his game. With remarks like, “Some of your crosses went wide, why were you offside, the technique of your shot was not correct, the one that hit the crossbar”, Motaung wanted to keep the talent on his toes. “My dad always pushed me to think about how I can improve.”

Motaung was a strict father, but he had to be. “I forever wanted to have a ball at my feet, even in the house,” Kaizer Junior says, “of course, that didn’t impress my mother and she sometimes commented, ‘if you don’t stop now, I will call your father.’ Those words made me quickly stop fooling around with the ball.”

“My dad and I are basically two people loving football,” Kaizer Junior adds. “We can often be found sitting on a couch watching soccer. My dad supports Manchester United. However, when I returned from London, where I had gone to school, I became a Gunner, an Arsenal supporter. We often have some heated discussions thereafter, especially if the two sides are playing against each other.”

Motaung also closely followed the career of his son when he was at German outfit, 1860 Munich, from 2001 until 2003. “He regularly made time to come and visit me,” Kaizer Junior comments, “watching a few games.”

“I am fortunate to be around somebody who created something special,” the now 36-year-old says about Kaizer Motaung. “I had the honour to play soccer with the team and to work for the company. He’s the best father I could ever ask for. He’s always there if I need advice. As a Chairman, he’s a pioneer, a visionary – there are few people in the world who have achieved what he has done. Kaizer Chiefs is a legacy he will leave behind.

“My father is not only a humble person, but he also has great emotional intelligence. He’s the kind of person who, if the house is on fire, comes in, stays calm and looks for options to solve the problem. He’s always five, six steps ahead of everyone else.”

“Happy birthday, my Chairman,” Kaizer Junior says. “I hope that the team will give you a present in the coming year by winning a trophy as Kaizer Chiefs is all about winning trophies. Take it easy today as a birthday is also a time for reflection. Thank you for everything you have done for me and God bless you.”


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