Glamour at Bantu Gala

Glamour at Bantu Gala

Mafeteng – Ululations, applause, whistles and vuvuzelas filled the Golden Hotel hall on Sunday as Mafeteng welcomed its Bantu football club heroes at the team’s end of season awards gala.

The elegant ceremony celebrated Bantu’s 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League title triumph and their on-going 90th birthday festivities.
The classy event was graced by numerous luminaries including former Bantu and Lesotho star, and current Bloemfontein Celtics interim coach, Lehlohonolo Seema.

“I thank the management of Bantu for the outstanding work they have done,” Seema said as he took the podium to cheers.

“I want to clarify that they once called me saying that things were not going smoothly and they asked me to help them. I am thankful for the trust that they had in me when things were difficult. I want to thank the players of Bantu FC; I worked with you and I know how much you dedicate yourselves (and) how much you sacrifice – hard work pays.”

Seema also emphasized to the players that next season, as champions and the team to beat, will not be easy.
“Whatever you want to do now during the off-season, you should enjoy to the fullest because when the season starts all will be very difficult,” he said.

Seema then called Bantu coach James Madidilane, who was dressed to kill in his golden-yellow shades, to join him on stage before thanking the South African tactician for the marvellous work he has done at ‘A Matšo Matebele’.

“I feel privileged that (Madidilane) is standing here next to me, if I can shake his hand I think I will be like him,” Seema smiled. “I remember sitting here in this room when he was promising “Makaota” a trophy and I say to you, thank you very much,” Seema said.
Seema also heaped praise on Bantu and their supporters.
“I want to thank the Bantu supporters,” he said.

“I think Bantu should change its name to Bantu University,” he continued. “University is where we learn and when you are done you go to work. You have taught many supporters, not only in Lesotho, because Basotho are not only in Lesotho. Supporters learn a lot of good things from Bantu, that’s why I say it’s a university.”

“Bantu is the only team in the country that has a television show and I can assure you that after two or three years another team will follow.”

Bantu’s awards gala was also enlivened by musicians and famous comedian Lilaphalapha who had guests laughing their lungs out.
Lilaphalapha, who was also acting as a representative for club sponsors Lesotho Flour Mills, declared he was happy for Bantu. “You are even looking handsome today, you even look like me,” he joked.

As festivities wound down, thepost had a chance to sit down with Hlompho Kalake who won the club’s player of the year award and a cheque for M5000.

“I thank God, my teammates, coaches and the management of Bantu,” a delighted Kalake said.
“(My success) wasn’t because I am gifted but it’s through hard work and God’s blessings. I had motivation that drove me to have a desire for victory all the time.”

And, despite routinely making the game look simple with his effortless style, Kalake said the Bantu’s success this season wasn’t easy.
“There were games which were very difficult, like our game against Matlama where we lost – it was very difficult,” the classy midfielder said.

“We worked hard that we should be here where we are today,” he added.
“Because of our determination and undying love of football, we told ourselves as players that we want to achieve this.”

Mohloai Mpesi

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