Kaizer Chiefs and coach Steve Komphela will be under added pressure to give supremo Kaizer Motaung the perfect birthday gift with match victories against fierce rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates this week.
The Amakhosi chairman celebrated his 73rd birthday yesterday and back-to-back league wins over Sundowns at Loftus tonight and Pirates at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday will be welcomed by the respected Motaung, the founding father of Chiefs.
Sending his best birthday wishes yesterday morning‚ Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune described Motaung as a humble person and a father figure to everybody at the club.
“The chairman is very humble‚” Khune said.
“He is a real father figure to me‚ not only when it comes to soccer advice, but also about life in general and his door is always open.”
Former Chiefs‚ Leeds United and Bafana defender Lucas Radebe said Motaung was one of the best leaders he had come across, including people he had worked with and under in England.
“He is an amazing man, with strong values and he treats everybody with respect‚” Radebe said.
“Kaizer Motaung is like a father figure for most players‚ especially for me and my teammates during that time, which included youngsters like Doctor Khumalo‚ Gardner Seale and Ntsie Maphike.
“He was always approachable when players were looking for advice and he has imparted a lot of wisdom.”
Cyril Nzama‚ who captained Chiefs in the 2000s‚ said Motaung was always looking at ways to improve, even when the team was doing well by wining trophies, and always had solutions.
“The chairman would regularly call me to his office when I was the captain at Chiefs and he would ask what was going well and where we should improve,” Nzama said.
“He would always look at solutions to the various topics‚ listening carefully to my input and trying to find a solution to map the way forward.”
Former Chiefs striker Marks Maponyane said Motaung was a gentleman, always willing to listen.
“I would often go with a few friends to watch Kaizer Chiefs play and we would walk from Meadowlands to Orlando after having saved money during the week to be able to buy a ticket‚” Maponyane said.
“I was completely in awe when meeting Kaizer Motaung for the first time – and he would never interfere with the coach’s decisions or otherwise.”