Obituary John ‘Buick’ Makwati
Obituary John ‘Buick’ Makwati

Posted in General, News on Jun 28, 2024.

Today Kaizer Chiefs mourn the loss of a legendary figure following the passing of former defensive stalwart, John ‘Buick’ Makwazi, at the age of 77.

Born in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, on 21 May in 1948, Makwati had a career that spanned 24 years and saw him turn out for six clubs. Originally a striker who was converted to a defender, amongst the clubs he played for were Meadowlands Giant Aces, Vaal Professionals, Moroka Swallows BIG XV, Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs.

The sleek, classy defender, whose ability to seemingly glide effortlessly across the field earned him the nickname “Buick” in a nod to his shared elegance in motion with the luxury American car.

His stylishness and sophistication on the pitch was matched by his impeccable fashion sense off it, and he remains one of the icons of the Glamour Boys in Club folklore.

Buick joined Amakhosi from Moroka Swallows Big XV in 1975, at the behest of Ariel ‘Pro’ Khongoane, and played in the illustrious company of the likes of Zacharia ‘Computer’ Lamola, the late Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe, the late Abednigo ‘Shaka’ Ngcobo as well as Joseph ‘Banks’ Setlhodi and Jackie Masike, during one of the Club’s most successful eras.

In that time, he achieved a double with Chiefs in his first season, winning the Castle Champion of Champions and the Chevrolet Champion of Champions, followed up with the Benson and Hedges Cup and BP Top 32, in 1976, and topped off with a pair of league titles, in 1977 and 1979.

He was once quoted as saying that the epic 1979 South African Cup (Now Nedbank Cup) Final against Highlands Park was the most intense game he ever took part in. The first match ended in a nail-biting 3-3 draw, with Amakhosi going on to win the replay 2-0, an occasion those lucky enough to witness will never forget.

Makwati is survived by his five children, eleven grandchildren and his only sister.

And the Amakhosi Faithful will never forget John ‘Buick’ Makwati, a legend and hero forever.

Robala ka kagiso Mokgatla, Kgabo!

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