The day is 22 February 2012. I am lying in my hospital bed. Looking at my lovely visitors (Family, friends and hospital staff members) all I see in their eyes is the words “be strong, beat it, snap out of it, fight it” It is so sad they have to go through this. But I guess that is human nature, we turn to hang on to the things we love most. We find it hard to accept that the things we have, can never last forever. Talking about the things we love most, what is it that these people love about me? Why are they so saddened? Who am I, who is Thabang Lebese?
I went back into memory lane in search for answers. I saw myself wearing a Gold and Black outfit in a very packed stadium. People were wearing Black and Gold some were in Black and White, could this be what I am thinking, my first professional game? Chiefs VS Pirates, the biggest debut of SA football? Another vision of the same year, one month later to be exact dropped in. It’s me again in Gold and Black against the same Black and White team. The ball is in my feet I score my first professional goal. Thousands of people sing my name Thabang, some give me the name Banda some say Chillies. Everywhere I go, people stop me, to greet and hug me. Every game I play, people sing my name. Go get them Chillies…
I played 219 games for the gigantic Kaizer Chiefs, scoring 73 goals in the process. I played 28 good games for Ria stars, scoring 8 marvellous goals in the process. I played 10 games for the Mighty Orlando Pirates, scoring 4 goals in the process. There is no way these people can never like me. They have every reason to be sadden by my passing. I made them happy for over 13 years in the field of play. I am the PSL champion, I am the Bob Save Super Bowl winner, I am the 2 times Rothmans cup champion. I am Thabang Banda Lebese Chilies. I played my part in this side of the World. It’s time to go. I will remember you. Thank you all for being good to me. The Champ is signing out.The champ is moving on to the next world.
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