There is much I want to say to you, and regret I will no longer have the chance. Having said that, I feel privileged to have known you, and to have benefited from your wisdom and example.
You taught me lessons of leadership, humility, generosity, courage and integrity. To say that you inspired me and my generation, would be an understatement.
My career would not have been possible but for you. The chance of playing at the highest level in football outside of
did not exist before
your release from prison. When times were tough in my early days in Leeds, away
from South Africa ,
I drew motivation from your courage and tenacity. When captaining teams,
whether Bafana Bafana or Leeds United, you were my role model for leadership.
Your ability to bring people together for a common cause, despite their
differences, was a great gift. South Africa
I think I speak for every player who pulled on a Bafana Bafana, Springbok or Protea jersey, and any other South African sportsperson, when I say that we never ever played just for ourselves or even our country. We played for you and the special ideals that you stood for. You taught me how sport could be an indomitable force for social change, and how it could impact individuals, communities and nations.
I was so proud to welcome you to
my home away from home, and I know the pride you felt in my accomplishments. It
was so humbling. You will never know how much that visit meant to Feziwe and
me. It was a day that will forever be etched in my mind. I always felt special
that you had your own name for me, Mthimkhulu.
I know children were at the heart of your philanthropic vision and I promise to continue working in your image to motivate, help and galvanize
next generation. Part of your legacy is that so many of us are stirred to carry
the torch. South Africa
The sports history books in
will show statistics
and victories. What they won’t show, however, was that it was Madiba Magic that
forged those results and performances; and united a country and its people
along the way. No doubt, that Madiba Magic will live on. Thank you Tata. South Africa