'My dad was a flower who grew out of concrete' - Sifiso‚ son of Phil Masinga at the Bafana legend's funeral
"My dad was a flower who grew out of concrete"‚ Sifiso Masinga‚ son of Phil Masinga‚ said addressing the audience at his father's funeral in Stilfontein‚ North West on Thursday.
Sifiso Masinga's at times powerful‚ at times angry‚ at times touching speech had the hallmarks from the young man‚ a spitting image of Phil Masinga in his appearance and lankiness‚ of the fire that the Bafana Bafana striker nicknamed "Chippa" had.
It gave hint to a life lived at times in adversity by the former Jomo Cosmos‚ Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Leeds United and Bari centre-forward‚ who died after a fight with cancer in a Johannesburg hospital aged 49 last week Sunday.
Philemon Masinga had struggled at times with the "boo boys" among SA football supporters‚ with press criticism‚ and‚ post-playing career‚ his run-ins with the tabloids amid stories over financial and other struggles that Sifiso Masinga said were often fabricated‚ often to great harm to the family.
"When I define my dad‚ in simple terms‚ he's a flower that grew from concrete‚" Sifiso Masinga said.
" ... He gave more than he received‚ repeatedly. That's the stature of the man I know.
"And then every time he gave‚ he never expected any sympathy or the expense of any money.
"It's so sad that certain things came out negatively
"But at the end of the day let's look at the positive‚ which is that the country as a whole is united because of the man we have here."
Sifiso Masinga reserved criticism for the treatment his father at times received from the media.
"The media played it's role‚" he said.
"Because‚ you know‚ certain things were fabricated‚ not knowing how it impacts the kids and the rest of the family.
"And it's a lesson to everyone here. The media can either break you or make you.
"But my dad stood firm. He protected us‚ he made us strong. Thus I am able to stand up and without even preparing a speech and be able to talk to this audience."
Addressing his sisters‚ Sifiso Masinga said: "Tinyiko‚ Buhle and Tatyana‚ it's not the end of the world. Your journey continues.
"Your journey started in 1969‚ on June 28 [Masinga's birth date]. It's our duty to carry it.
"No tears can bring our dad. But the best thing we can do at this time is to live a life that he can be proud of.
"Tomorrow stand tall - when you walk in the street you must know that you are the daughter of Phil Masinga. Because he was a great dad.
"We are here to celebrate and commemorate the memory of a man who is gone. It's a pity we see the significance of a man who is gone‚ when the role he played while he was alive‚ the same diginitaries we see here‚ he deserved them when he was alive."
Addressing SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan‚ Sifiso Masinga requested that Phil Masinga's picture be included in Safa's Hall of Fame in their offices in Nasrec.
Masinga's funeral at Khuma Stadium‚ a few minutes from his home in Khuma township outside Stilfontein‚ was attended by a fitting array of football stars‚ administrators‚ politicians‚ supporters and religious leaders.
Among his 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning team present were Lucas Radebe and Doctor Khumalo‚ who also spoke.
Jomo Sono‚ who discovered Masinga in Stilfontein and signed him to Cosmos‚ also spoke.
A crowd of some 5‚000 crammed two large marquees.