The famous Mamelodi Sundowns drum that propels from the stands right to the pitch to keep the players going, has lost its tune since it was silenced by the coronavirus, about a year ago.
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The pandemic forced football authorities of the land to ban supporters from attending live matches, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Masandawana have of late, established a new culture of singing to the beat of the drum that is most hung on the neck of John “Black” Madumo, who belongs to the Eersterust supporters’ branch.
Madumo last attended a game almost a year ago, and a lot has changed since then. Pitso Mosimane left the club, some veteran players have left, Steve Komphela joined, and sadly, the club lost two defenders in the late Anele Ngcongca and Motjeka Madisha.
“I was willing to go and bury Anele, but we couldn’t manage to go there because of Covid-19, but I forced myself to go to bury Motjeka Madisha, I was part and parcel of that and I am glad that I went there. My belief is that Anele decided to fetch Madisha and said ‘let’s go to another world’. Anyone can have their different beliefs but that is mine. They were together many times those guys,” Madumo told Phakaaathi.
“It is very sad because we enjoyed being in the stadium a lot and when you are no longer at the stadium, we are not really free because in my entire life, I have never been subjected to this. I love sports.
“I know that every weekend and during the week when I have time I would go watch Sundowns. We have a bit of hope now that they say the vaccine is already here but at the same time, they say the vaccine is fong kong (fake)… we don’t understand because we want to go back to the stadium,” he added.
The Sundowns faithful, who makes a living as a cab driver with his Citi Golf in Mamelodi, says not only does he miss cheering Sundowns on at Loftus Versfeld, Lucas Moripe Stadium and wherever else the Brazilians travel – he is not happy with the exclusion of Tiyani Mabunda from the team. Mabunda has a special relationship with the supporters.
“When he is not in the match-day squad, you’d usually spot him up in the stands singing and dancing with the fans. He is also loosely described as the cheerleader of the team. His presence is influential in such a way that former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter named him in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad so he could ‘lift the team spirit’.”
“I am not satisfied with what has been happening because I was hoping to see Tiyani Mabunda playing. He is our mentor and he is the mentor of some of the players. If I was at the stadium, I don’t think I was going to tolerate this. They can put him in for at least five minutes or something. I am mad, it makes me crazy,” said Madumo.