Today we feature one the most recognizable voices in local football. A young man from the dusty roads of Nokaneng, within the local soccer fraternity, Douglas Dikobe affectionately known as D-Mos or 32 Gig. To date it is very rare to find a soccer tournament without commentators on the sidelines dishing scoops and statistics to soccer lovers around the pitch. He is so good at his job that he has become a brand and somewhat a crowd puller, even when the game is boring he always finds a way to make it interesting with statistics and jokes. D-Mos prides himself as one the most influential vernacular commentators in local football. Shaq Bibo decided to have an interview with the man on his career and with the view of trying to let our readers to get to know him much better.

DM Dikobe at the presentation of the 2019 Volt Engineering/Andries Chicha Top 32 tournament fixture ceremony at Serite Park. Image: Supplied

Shadrack Ngako (Shaq): Sho D-Mos thanks for your time and welcome to The Village Mag.

Douglas Dikobe (D-Mos): Morning champ, thanks for having.

Shaq:    First and foremost tell us about yourself.

D-Mos: I was born on the 24th of March 1984 at Hammanskraal and grew up and attended school at Nokaneng. I am the last born of the late Mr. Lazarus Dikobe and Mme Sophie Dikobe.

Shaq:    Why commentary as a profession?

D-Mos: Commentating chose me my brother, I did not choose it, and it came as a calling.

I started simple, it was easy for me because I grew up in a soccer loving cultural environment.

Shaq:    What inspired you most about commentating?

D-Mos: I grew up listening to Motsweding FM, voices of veteran sportscasters such as that of the legendary Oshebeng

Konyaadise and the late great Cebo Manyaapelo.

In the ‘90s we (village people) – had few households that had television sets, meaning we relied heavily on radios for news and football matches. So yeah that’s where I drew most of my inspiration.

Shaq:    Are you doing this full time or are you also employed?

D-Mos: As you know football tournaments are seasonal, so my brother as much as I would love to this full time, it is hard and I have bills to pay. So I do have a job.

Shaq:    How can one become a commentator?

D-Mos: Anybody can definitely become sportscaster but this requires a certain somebody with discipline and dedication.

This is because this job is psychologically demanding, also you need to invest your time and resources to populate, study and learn statistics of different teams/players. Remember here at home we do not have a stats / archives center, maybe or perhaps you guys at The Village Mag – as you grow will have a section for us to use as a point of reference.

Shaq:    Yeah thanks, now that you’ve mentioned it, yes our website and our app to be launched soon will have that platform and more.

D-Mos: That will be much appreciated.

Shaq: How long have you been doing this?

D-Mos: Next year marks a decade since I started.

Shaq:    Impressive, feels like I’ve know your work forever any what sort of challenges have you faced since you’ve started?

D-Mos: *chuckles frantically* Thanks man I really appreciate the vote of confidence, the main challenge in this field is collecting relevant information from credible sources so that disseminate it to the people it is convincing. Furthermore when we (amateur commentators) participate/perform at this tournaments, organizers seldom meet their financial obligations, the main contributor to this is that there are no written contracts just verbal agreements – which you may know, makes it even harder to prove even at a court of law. It really is hard bro!

Shaq:    How did you overcome those challenges alluded to above?

D-Mos: Sometimes with the right support structure – both emotionally and professionally – you keep telling yourself that “go tla loka” (things will get better) and leave everything in God’s hands.

Shaq:    Any career highlights/achievements?

D-Mos: A while back I sent my demo to Motsweding FM, the response I received was positive but nothing has materialized since. By nature I am an optimistic person, so I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that something will come up soon. Furthermore, this job has allowed me to rub shoulders with South Africa’s legendary football greats such as Jerry Skosana and Maimane Phiri. Also I should add that Tshireletso Motsogi, now signed with Stellenbosch FC (a Premier Soccer League side), a player from Marapyane village, whom I used to commentate during his matches turning the tide from an amateur to a professional footballer serves as one of the greatest highlights of my career – it shows that it is possible for amateur footballers and commentators to make it.

DM Dikobe with the legendary Legs of Thunder Jerry Skosana during the 2018 Andries Chicha Games. Image: Supplied

Shaq:    We definitely wish you all the best, hopefully your demo lends on the right person’s desk at the SABC and heeds the call and make your dreams come true bro.

D-Mos: Yeah thanks my man, I hope so too.

Shaq:    Any words of inspiration to the young ones that look up to you?

D-Mos: Life is the best teach my man, to the young aspiring commentators needs to also put in the work and hours. Invest in your craft, do not let societal expectations put you under duress and unnecessary pressure. Focus on your goals, develop your character and study hard. Do not try to be somebody else, everybody is taken, do you and be yourself. Lastly try to have fun despite all the hiccups ahead of you.

Shaq:    Lastly how can people follow you and get in contact with you?

D-Mos: My brother we are living in the era of the 4IR (fourth industrial revolution *smiles*), people can follow and get in contact with me via Facebook, let them search for Douglas Mosotho Dikobe.

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