As Kaizer Chiefs celebrate their 50th anniversary, the club’s chairman, Kaizer Motaung, has relived the story of their formation while revealing his pride of the club’s impact on South Africa.
The historic day in the club’s history comes as they sit atop of the Absa Premiership, a position they have occupied so many times throughout South African football history.
Motaung co-founded the club 50 years ago and it has gone on to become one of the most iconic brands in African football.
The chairman relived the past 50 years in a statement on the official Chiefs website:
‘Obviously, one feels a lot of nostalgia as you look back at where you come from and at the journey that has unfolded over so many years. There are many stories to tell and I am very grateful that I am alive, and that God spared me, to see our dream come true. When we started, a lot of people thought this is one of those passing things that will fall by the wayside. There were critics and sceptics who did not believe we were serious. When I look back, I feel very proud and fulfilled. At least we did not disappoint so many people and so many families who believed in us and shared our dreams. We’ve made so many people happy, and that is what is so important. The path we took was always meant to ensure we take people along the way with us,’ said Motaung.
‘The ambition was to create something we could be proud of. We strove to be recognised as an institution of excellence and I think we have achieved that. But never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be where we are today, a powerful brand loved and supported by millions of people in every corner of the country and across the African continent.
‘Our success has come especially from our supporters, who believed in us, had faith in us and committed themselves to the brand. Our supporters are very close to us, it is what has made a big difference in setting us apart from the rest of the teams in the country. The support we garnered from them gave us the strength and the courage to know that what we sought to achieve was indeed achievable.
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) January 7, 2020
‘It is important to recognise the role they played. We hope that those who take the baton from us will be able to continue the journey in the same manner we did and even better than we have done.
‘I want to thank all those who were part of the journey, especially the players who have represented Kaizer Chiefs on the field of play, who helped to create this history. Those players who started with us, those who joined and those who continue the journey, who have the responsibility to ensure that as much as they were standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before them, that those playing today will also be seen in the same light as those who will follow them,’ he added.
‘The kind of organisation we have put together and the business we are is one that gives opportunities and empowers other people. We’ve contributed towards the development of communities at large and through our social-corporate responsibility projects we have touched many peoples’ lives.
‘On the political front, we played a significant role in terms of withstanding and battling against apartheid and supporting all those at the forefront of the struggle to pursue their agenda of freeing our country from the stranglehold of apartheid. Football played a significant role in our country’s emancipation and we at Kaizer Chiefs are proud to have contributed strongly in the political arena,’ he concluded.
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