Unplugged by BBK
Salute Bra Hlompho, a true leader of men
Let me take this moment to pay homage to a man among men.
Let me take this time to scribble in this space a few words about a skipper of a squad, a captain of comrades, a true leader of men who leads by showing and not telling. Last week, this man entered his name into the annals of SA football folklore.
Tonight, in the kingdom of the Zulu, the man from Zebediela appears destined to scribble yet another glorious chapter in his book that is already overflowing with amazing achievements.
When he hoisted high the most coveted shining silver that is the Premier Soccer League crown at Goble Park, it was the sixth time that Kekana engaged in the excitement-triggering exercise.
In doing so, he and teammates Denis Onyango and Anthony Laffor, reached a landmark and took up residence in the elite company of Daine Klate, the first soccer star to scoop half a dozen golden league medals in the PSL. Kekana is in line for a clean sweep when the curtain falls on the PSL with the awards function pencilled in for the Durban International Convention Centre.
A prospective hat-trick lies in wait for Kekana who is nominated in three categories - Footballer of the Season, Player's Player of the Season as well as Midfielder of the Season.
Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates and Kekana's Chloorkop teammate Themba Zwane complete the nominees in all three categories.
What will make his victory sweeter is that he has failed to win Footballer of the Year for an incredible five consecutive seasons. Lesser souls would have become permanent residents of heartbreak saloon picking tiny pieces of his broken heart while wallowing in self-pity, wondering what it is he has to do to get the nod of the judges.
Not Kekana. The unassuming, self-effacing gladiator is made of sterner stuff, doesn't suffer fools gladly, is still standing and always raring to give all in yet another battle. The lyrics of Ain't no Mountain High Enough, be it the Diana Ross or Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell versions, sound like they were written with Kekana in mind when considering the length and breadth and ends of the earth the skipper has gone to for Sundowns:
Listen baby, ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough baby
If you need me call me no matter where you are
No matter how far don't worry baby
Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry
You don't have to worry...
When Sundowns made SA soccer history by recording the largest win by visiting load-shedding on fourth division outfit Powerlines, it was Kekana who led the romp with seven of the best.
When it comes to long-range goals, Kekana has them. Thunderbolts. Rockets. Missiles. You name them, Kekana has them galore in his gallery for club and country.
Kekana belongs to a different breed of SA players: the unflashy, stars who genuinely toil tirelessly and quietly accept the glory the game gives them in return.
Aaahh, Bra Hlompho. What a mainstay. What a model of consistency. Whatever happens tonight, I doff my cap to you, man among men, captain of comrades, skipper of a squad.