The letter posted on Facebook, calls on Rakhale to ignore those that have criticised his dribbling and called it showboating.
Here is the full letter:
Dear Thabo Rakhale,
How dare you?
How dare you burst into this humble Khosified household and cause so much excitement when you’re supposed to be the arch enemy, batting as you do for the noisy neighbours? This is Khosi territory, baba. We’re supposed to hate guys in black and white like you.
Do you have any idea what a guilt trip I have to embark on each time you do your thing on the TV screen. The lines are blurred now, and I feel like an adulterous spouse with a conscience. Yesterday, uLwandle was relating to us what a bad job the graphic artists did when caricaturing you for one of the latest Fifa PC games. But you’re in computer games now. Isn’t it funny how one can go from relative obscurity into the big time in just a year.
Indeed, we are enamoured. We always particularly look forward to you coming into possession – not least because of the peculiar way in which your right arm assumes the 90 degree position when you run, as if you’re carrying a knobkerrie – because we know that chances are we’ll see something truly special from the Bucs’ number 25.
I thought the factory that used to produce players of your ilk – the type that fans pay their hard-earned cash to watch – had long closed down. And then you came around. As a matter of fact, since the late Ernest “Botsotso” Makhanya, you’re the second skilful Buccaneer that I admire after your former teammate, the scintillating Khethokwakhe Masuku.
I actually bumped into him and his pampered Royal Eagles posse at the Bafana game in one of the suites at Moses Mabhida on Wednesday. I came over and told him how much I had hoped iKhosi would snap him up after his sudden departure from the Ghost.
I wish I’d had the balls to be straight-up and ask him what really happened at Bucs. He probably wouldn’t have shared anyway. As the game went on, I had found myself glancing in his direction and wondering what it must have felt like for him to watch the struggling Bafana from the stands, as a second tier player now, when he should be out there dazzling us and mesmerizing the opponents with his unbelievable skill.
But back to you, T’boz. I don’t even want to talk about how a player of your fine talents escaped the attention of ‘Bobsteak’ and them. Yet again.
Sure, the “Yo-yo” trick that introduced you earlier this season set tongues wagging. It even had the Brits agog.
But how about that exquisite stunt you pulled against Etoel Du Sahel on Saturday? One moment you were chesting it down and seemed hopelessly out of balance; yet, for a second, you, T’boz, appeared to be suspended mid-air, with one foot on the ball; drawing it to the right, back to the left – and back to the right again. In all of TWO seconds. With ZERO balance probability. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. Devastating.
Trigonometry made seamless. Poor opponents. I honestly doubt whether even you yourself have the time to process what your legs do sometimes. It just all happens too quickly.
Remember when, in front of 90 000 fans, you waltzed past Willard Katsande during one of the two recent derbies and then you tried to lob it over his head – for effect – and he obstructed you.
M’dala uKatsande. But that, dear Thabo, crystalises, for me what a special talent you are. That kind of wherewithal, that arrogance and sheer chutzpah has been missing from the local game for a very long time.
I’m sure by now the doubting Thomases reading this are spouting all kinds of bile about the negative effects of “showboating”. Yawn.
Anyone who’s ever got off the couch and tried to kick a soccer ball against other people will attest to the disarming power of well-executed skill to puncture your opponents’ spirit and bring your team-mates back into the game and get the spectators behind you.
In fact, how you left your detractors feasting on a chunk of Chicken and Mushroom humble pie after you completed a great move with a wonderful chip over the AS Sfaxien ‘keeper – far away from home – is the stuff of legend.
I, for one, am truly moved by how humble South Africa’s single most exciting footballer right now comes across. You seem like a consummate professional with a (rather funny-looking) head (look who’s talking!!!) that’s screwed on properly; a likeable, soft-spoken, focused, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly young man with a naughty streak for self-expression when no-one expects it. I would gladly drop my sister off on a date with you.
It’s hard to imagine headlines about a Thabo Rakhale having gone off the rails, getting drunk here, missing training there or assaulting some poor girl somewhere. We’re probably more likely to be reading about a regular Bafana place, and an overseas deal sometime in the near future – the last which is always a bitter-sweet affair for us fans.
Watching a post-match interview after we humbled you guys in the Telkom semis, you seemed to take things so personally. But I tried not to feel too sorry for you, because your supporters are such loud-mouths and perhaps needed that. Hade mfana.
I just have one request, Thiboz. You’ve shown us what you’re made of by scoring some memorable goals. All I ask of you now is to make it a habit. Consistency, baba. Big match temperament.There’s no doubt you have all of that in you. Just dig a bit deeper and unleash it, mfan’akithi.
Skilful players are revered for a reason in this country; they are few and far between. A dying breed. But players who combine skills with the ability to score important goals become demi-gods that we will still be talking about decades after they hang up their boots.
Your team fluffed things in the dying minutes on Sunday. You and your teammates are under pressure now as you head off to Tunisia this weekend. The crowd that side will be hostile, and many among them will be unsporting, flashing those blinding green lights into your eyes, in a bid to distract you.
You will have to man up and rise to the occasion. There’s a reason we still talk about the exploits of Jerry Skhosana and co in Abidjan, 20 years later. This is your chance to rewrite history.
And in spite of your noisy faithful, one thing you can count on come Sunday and beyond, is that this hard-core Khosi fan and his offspring will be rooting for you.
Please don’t stop the magic (just not against my team, please).
Agiza Hlongwane, in Durban
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