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Botswana mourns the death of former National Team coach

The Botswana Football Association (BFA), football community and stakeholders are reeling in shock and mourning the death of Major Bright who passed away on Monday evening after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 recently.

The 64-year-old football manager, popularly known as Fakude has had an illustrious coaching career over the years and was considered to be one of Botswana’s most successful coaches.

Born on June 13, 1956, Major Bright is a retired Botswana Defence Force (BDF) member, who during his 13-year spell with Mogoditshane Fighters, led the team to three consecutive Botswana Premier League (BPL) titles between 1999 and 2001.

The remarkable and unassuming coach has had a positive football career both in and outside the country, having also coached in South Africa for clubs such as Engen Santos, Bay United, Royal Eagles and Black Leopards, whilst locally he guided the likes of Mogoditshane  Fighters, BDF XI, Township Rollers, Gaborone United, Holy Ghost, Morupule Wanderers and Sua Flamingoes.

His spell with the Botswana senior national team, The Zebras ran between the years of 1997-
98, 1999, 2000, until 2017-2019. He was also remarkable with the national Under-23 men’s team, which finished in the group stages of and missed out on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The core of the squad further plied their trade internationally, and these include Dirang Moloi, Phenyo Mongala, Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Moemedi Moatlhaping and Noah Maposa amongst others.

“Shedding tears when someone dies is normal, but I think more people than normal are shedding tears over this, and I think they’re shedding more than normal. I think that’s just because of the way Major Bright lived his life, so positive, so influential, and just doing things the right way even when faced with some of the most long odds imaginable,” said Maclean Letshwiti, BFA President.

Major Bright left his mark on the game. A former head national coach, Major Bright helped some players start their journey into the professionals.

“What a man! Father to many who touched a lot of lives. He was tough as a nut even in his final days. I know he would never have wanted anybody to feel sorry for him. He was a true soldier who died with his boots on. We will meet on the other side. Rest, rest Zombie.” said Masego Ntshingane, BFA VP2.

His eldest son, Mogomotsi Bright said, “You have done your part dad. I will celebrate you for a job well done. You did what God sent you to do. You served the nation wholeheartedly. In the army you trained soldiers and you helped in the development of Botswana football. Go and rest with other legends, the likes of Maradona, the Jonas Gwangwas, your friend Oupa Hugh Masekela and others. Amandla Fakude Amandla, Republic Madala. my kind David, I learnt a lot from you.”

After Bright’s passing Monday evening, Mogomotsi said the family continue to receive an outpour of support.

For him, that goes to show the legacy that Bright will leave behind.

“He was one of the greatest people you’ll ever meet,” said the young Bright.

 

_ _REST IN PEACE MAJOR_ _

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National First Divisions undergo Operation Time For Change drill

GABORONE, Botswana – In its relentless quest to professionalize and commercialize local football, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has extended the FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course – Operation Time for Change to National First Division Leagues (NFDL), both in the South and North regions. The five-day rigorous training, which kicked off at Tlotlo Hotel and Conference Centre in Gaborone on Monday (yesterday), is aimed at endowing leaders of football clubs to effectually grow football from grassroots level and administer it with indispensable proficiency.

Furthermore, it is intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting. Officially opening yesterday’s Operation Time for Change for National First Division South, newly appointed Botswana Football League (BFL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochotlhwane implored all clubs to adapt to club licensing regulations, as this will become a standard tool for commercialization of clubs and football in Botswana – a barometer also used by CAF. The course has so far been administered in all the 17 Regional Football Association (RFA) regions where over 600 graduates have been inducted.

With the BFA steadfast to commercialize football, they saw it apt to also train NFDL clubs as they act as a feeder to the elite league. In his remarks Ramochotlhwane said, “the program comes at a time when the BFA 2020 Annual General Assembly granted National Leagues being BFL and NFDL autonomy which paves way for professionalism.  As one of the milestones of becoming professional, Operations Time for Change Program comes at a time when clubs have been struggling to meet CAF Club Licensing requirements. This was mostly due to lack of Management Skills and Stakeholder Management by football administrators.

National First Division Chairman, Sydney Magagane

At the end of the program, the participants will be equipped with the Leadership Skills to enable them to perform their duties and influence the change they want to see,” and further added, “Good Governance drives success and produce positive results. Football is a sport that has been severely battered by poor governance. This comes as results of members failing to account in getting the right people to lead the teams. Planning – This is an area that has been neglected for a very long time. The time has now come for teams to have strategies to drive their day-to-day, week-in and week-out preparations on how they drive football and its activities. Communication- the greatest source of Conflict amongst people is failure to communicate, hence Clear Communication clears barriers of misunderstanding.”

Ramochotlhwane said it is therefore imminent to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. He noted that the time for clubs to change is now hence it is necessary for clubs to do away with societal organizations mentality. “This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Identify the true leaders in your organization, as well as your key stakeholders,” added Ramochotlhwane. For his part, Chairman of National First Division South, Sydney Magagane encouraged all clubs to take the course seriously as it will speed up the professionalization and commercialization aspect of Botswana football in general.

“The course intends to further train more instructors as our journey to commercialization will need more professionally equipped experts to undertake this task. Clubs are what makes the BFA and therefore starting to commercialize all clubs will bolster swift transition into the mother body,” said Magagane. The course started yesterday, Monday until Friday, June 14 – 18 for the NFDS before moving to Francistown for the NFDN on 21 – 25th June 2021.

Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting

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