A father figure - Khune
A father figure - Khune

Posted in Features, News on Oct 16, 2017.

We have asked five former Kaizer Chiefs players from five different decennia, starting with the foundation of the club on 7 January 1970 to now, to talk about their relationship with Chairman Kaizer Motaung for his 73rd birthday on Monday, 16 October 2017.

Itumeleng Khune (2010s)

“The Chairman is very humble,” comments Itumeleng Khune about Kaizer Chiefs Chairman Kaizer Motaung, whose birthday it is today. “He’s a real father figure to me, not only when it comes to soccer advice, but also about life in general. Besides that, his door is always open.”

Khune was full of excitement when all of a sudden Kaizer Motaung entered the dressing after Bafana Bafana beat Burkina Faso in a crucial World Cup qualifier. “I couldn’t believe what I saw,” the goalkeeper reflects. “It showed the unbelievable passion the Chairman has for the game of soccer. I think he breathes football. And that passion is addictive, as I have incorporated that same sentiment for the game into my career as well as, of course, my love for Kaizer Chiefs.”

The Chiefs Chairman was joined by the Safa boss, Danny Jordaan, and a minister, Blade Nzimande, and other soccer dignitaries, including Mamelodi Sundowns boss Patrice Motsepe, who said in the dressing room: “Nelson Mandela was our political leader. However, Kaizer Motaung is the Mandela of South African football.”

The goalkeeper came for trials at Amakhosi in 1999. Five years later, Motaung watched the ‘keeper doing well in goal in a reserve team game against Wits. Afterwards, the Chiefs Chairman advised coach Ted Dumitru and his assistant Farouk Khan to have a look at this talented youngster.

“The Chairman knew that Brian Baloyi was leaving the club in 2004,” reflects the now 30-year-old Khune. “He was obviously happy with what he had seen of me. This rubbed off and it highly motivated me. Later on, it helped my younger brother Lucky as well.”

The goalkeeper is “grateful to spend so many years under his leadership. It has been a tremendous journey and I learn every time I talk to the Chairman.”

“Mister Chairman, please always be the figure that you are, both for the club and the nation as a whole,” Khune says about Kaizer Motaung’s 73rd birthday today. “Happy birthday, may you see many more.”


Share this article: