Johnny Masilela l Views: 125
Let me start by throwing my hat into the ring over the excitement of Spanish La Liga giants, Barcelona FC, playing Mamelodi Sundowns FC mid-week.
Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe is a shrewd thinker and strategist.
First and foremost, Barcelona is the kind of brand which receives countless of invitations from across the whole circumference of the Earth.
So it would not be plain-sailing to bring the likes of the amazing Lionel Messi to our shores.
Motsepe had to find a way to rise above all other of Barcelona’s invitations — from kings to oligarchies globally — by offering the Spanish brand something the soccer administration dare not turn down: the late Nelson Mandela!
Who among Barcelona’s team management, including perhaps high finance sponsors such as the Emirates airlines, would not want to be associated with the spirit of Madiba?
My gut-feel is that even those with big monies not necessarily associated with Barcelona, such the Russian oligarchies, can possibly want to inscribe their names in history by offering large amounts of cash for this and that.
Eat your heart out, the Guptas, the moneyed classes are around town!
The strategy used by Motsepe should offer food for thought for local tourism planners in both the private and public sector.
Question is: Are we perhaps not under-utilising the fountain of wisdom named Kabelo Mosito?
The Bela-Bela municipal spokesperson has over a considerable period of time worked close to Patrice Motsepe at Sundowns, for sure.
Going forward, I have to guard against duplicating information planned to be published elsewhere in this week’s edition of The BEAT.
The unfolding story — in news-speak — is the real possibility that for the first time, Limpopo is very much likely to have no less than three soccer teams taking part in the multi-million rand Premier Soccer League (PSL).
What this means for soccer across the province, I leave to Mzamane Ringane to speak to local soccer commentators.
But then more importantly, is that this real possibility offers huge economic benefits for people beyond the families of Baroka FC and Polokwane City FC.
I deliberately mention Thohoyandou-based Black Leopards FC separately, because the Lidoda Duvha (day shall come) still has to fight its way up in the forthcoming promotional play-offs.
Should Black Leopards rise to the occasion and gain promotion — why not! — Limpopo shall be sending a record three teams into the paid ranks of the PSL.
If you have ever been to Thohoyandou, you would agree with me that paw-paw, mango and avocado are a vital source of income for locals.
Women line up the roadside selling plenty of these food products, with outsiders filling up their boots taking advantage of cheaper prices.
Imagine Mamelodi Sundowns playing Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium, with several hundred supporters arriving from Pretoria and elsewhere.
Just imagine how much money the sisters would make selling the avocados, paw-paw and mango.
Also to benefit would be those who transport soccer followers from the hinterland into Thohoyandou for big soccer.
And public transport can mean anything between a minibus taxi and a donkey cart.
We all wish you the best of luck at the play-offs, Lidoda Duvha.
The day has indeed arrived.
15 months ago 17 May 2018