By Theodorah Mawasha
The 2020 edition of the Makoti Soccer Tournament could be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the tournament organizer
Mokhwankhwe Pilusa says as much as they feel the negative impact of the pandemic, they’re still hopeful that things will get back to normal.
“We, unfortunately, have nothing planned for this year at the present moment due to lockdown regulations. We are waiting for upliftment.”
The tournament takes place annually at Makoti stadium at Ramotshinyadi village and runs for 15 days with over 48 villages participating from all over the Mopani region and beyond.
Their participating players, the youngest is under 16 years. Some of them are from Ga-Mokgwathi, Ramotshinyadi, Sekgosese, Xihoko to name but a few. The rewards are in the form of cash.
The tournament was established in 2015 to honor the memory of an unsung hero, Makoti Johannes Pilusa who was the founder of “Happy fighters” a local soccer team amongst many other successful projects under his name. He was a philanthropist with strong business acumen and a great influencer of community upliftment and youth development.
After he was assassinated in 1993. His son, Mokhwankwe Pilusa, picked the baton and ran with it for the greater good.
“We saw it fitting to not only resuscitate his soccer team but also delve deeper into the project and started organizing soccer tournaments so that we reach a greater audience and ensure my father’s memory lives on”
“We would like to remain true to the vision of youth development and as this is a legacy, we are cognizant of the reality that young people in rural settings remain some of the most marginalized and underprivileged in the country, needless to say, this is the status quo globally”
“To push a vision of sharpening these young people’s skills providing them with opportunities to compete at the highest level and to change their lives and future remains the vision of this tournament. We do this with the hope that once they are developed, they, in turn, will continue contributing to the development of their own communities “, added Mokhwankhwe
“Our most reliable sponsors have been two mountains financial services, who have been with us for the past five years, Supa bets, Zillapark lodge, Nkonwanwi attorneys amongst many others. This year we also approached Limpopo TV to enable us to reach a bigger spectrum”.
“We hope to see our players spotted to play in big tournaments like ABC, PSL, and NFD. We are convinced that if this tournament can continue to touch the lives of our youth, we will have little to worry about the future.” He concluded