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A SOCCER LOVER WHO MADE A NAME AND A BRAND FOR HIMSELF

Andrew Segalagala famously known as Chicha; born and bred in Marapyane has seen it all in the beautiful game; he has been through trials and tribulations yet he is still forging ahead. In this interview our editor Shadrack “Shack” Ngako sat down with the man to find out where it all began for him

Shadrack Ngako
ngakos@thevillagemag.co.za

08 August 2020

Shaq – When did you get the idea to start hosting tournaments?

Chicha – It all started in April 2000, that is when we hosted our first soccer tournament here in Marapyane.

Shaq – Where did you draw your inspiration from?

Chicha – Soccer is not just a sports in our communities, it is also our culture, growing up in such a vibrant setting we were inspired to see each and every young boy in the village rolling the ball. The 70’s and 80’s Marapyane and its surroundings used to have lots of soccer teams, teams such as Liverpool, Carlton, Vultures etc.

Shaq – How difficult is it to organize everything from scratch?

Chicha – Initially it was a logistical nightmare, this is mainly because the model was new and was never tried before – as such we needed to implement and sell the idea to the people and build trust with them and ensure that the best systems with the little we had was designed and dully operated. Of course we had our fair share of failures but fortunately we prevailed and for that I am thankful. Today, every one of my team members is happy, our stakeholders are happy as well. Teams cannot wait to participate in our games and that makes life simple for us as the organizers.

Shaq – Who do you work with (partners)?

Chicha – We are a Non-Profit Organization, but I have few guys that I work with namely Sechi Makole, Tebogo Matlala, Rorisang Mmapea and support from tribal Council.

Shaq – Do you have sponsorship or you fund these tournaments from your own pocket?

Chicha – We started all this by funding ourselves but later we got sponsorship from Volt Consulting Engineering. Even Hollywood Bets once sponsored our tournament and we were grateful.

Shaq – Where do you see this tournament in five (5) years from now?

Chicha – Being nationally recognized by the South African Football Association (SAFA) as it is the football governing body in our country. We hope to achieve this sooner than later because in recent years we have been getting requests and hosting teams which play in the ABC Motsepe League, we are really jumping borders hey.

Shaq – What lessons are you learning from these tournaments you hosting?

Chicha – The biggest lesson we have learnt so far from hosting these tournaments is that, in life respect is earned – you must always treat everyone with respect to get respect. Building lasting professional relationships with all stakeholders will take you far, the teams, supporters, business communities we work with must at all times feel valued because they make the tournaments what they are, a success. Without them we are nothing!

Shaq – Do you think communities who support these tournaments have future stars?

Chicha – Definitely, we have already produced Tshireletso Motsogi who is currently playing for Stellenbosch FC in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). There was a time when the University of Pretoria was looking for the services of Tebogo Matlala (from Marapyane) but his team then, refused to release him, apparently kept promising him that they will send him overseas. Currently I can count close to eight of more footballers who are playing professionally, who used to ply their trade in our tournaments with other amateur teams.

Shaq – What thrills you most about these games?

Chicha – Seeing everyone from all corners of our region appreciating us because of the deliverance we are giving them.

 

Shaq – What motivates you to keep going?

Chicha – Supporters and response from our communities is overwhelming, and hearing “when are you going to host another one”’ that’s so lovely.

Shaq – Thank you man for giving us your time, appreciate it.

Chicha – Thanks guys, cheers!