The last two Gumare United Football players, Tlotlo Buang and Kebamorena Molapisi, were laid to rest at the Gumare village cemetery this morning as mourners relived memories of the departed stars.
As their souls march on to heaven to peacefully rest with their five other team mates who were buried last week, survivors, relatives and team members have told of how the deceased were part of the team that carried the hopes of Gumare’s football future.
The players were involved in a freak road accident at Tsau village while on the way to Sehithwa to compete in a Constituency tournament.
The team’s equally aggrieved coach, Ronald Phillip, said the tragedy robbed Gumare of a promising football team. “We have lost big time. The deceased players were our heroes and could be described as the strength of the team. Both our goal keepers are gone as well as the forward players and the strikers,” Phillip said a nd added that the team will be out of action for a while as they mourn, heal physically and emotionally as well as recruiting new members. “It is going to take a while as the survivors are not mentally stable and are still in shock”.
Phillip says the team had achieved a lot and that they had plans to affiliate with Botswana Football Association for national leagues.
He said in the constituency leagues last year they had qualified for the nationals, making them the first team in the region to qualify at that level. “On other notable achievements, last year we played ten games from ward to regional level unbeaten where we scored 28 goals and conceding only two as well as winning the president’s day cup, independence and Christmas”.
Phillip further confirmed that the other six players were discharged from hospital whilst one was still admitted at the hospital.
One of the accident survivors, Itseng Essien Mogale, said all he could remember was waking up at the yells of his colleagues in the vehicle, begging for God’s intervention while the vehicle had spun out of the road. “I remember getting flying out of the vehicle. I then woke up at the hospital; most of us did not really know what transpired as we were sleeping.”
Meanwhile some of the parents and relatives to the deceased described the incident as devastating and having stolen the best from their families. “He was the only child and taking care of her mother, said Eneya Kakoro the uncle to Gothusamang Motswakhumo who was buried in Etsha last weekend.
Kakoro however appreciated the government’s help of P5000.00 and MVA’s P7 500.00. “Banewamang Joseph opened a big gap in this family. He was operating his own hair salon which was a relief for me as his uncle as I managed to easily fend for the rest of my extended family. His brother Galebolae, was also in the same accident but he is still admitted with a broken collarbone. God will see us through. It is indeed a tough time as we are trying to cope,” he said.
The family to another departed player, Letlhogonolo Maenge, had expected a bright future for the talented striker whose exploits on the field were known as far as Francistown and Bobonong. “We expected him to one day feature in the national team,” said a relative, Kekgotso Maenge.
Another aggrieved parent, Lillian Seremile, could not hold her tears back as she explained the excruciating pain she had suffered when she heard that her son was no more. “Brian was only 16 and I had expected a lot from him. He was a sweet child, intelligent and the glue that held this family together who enjoyed learning from his elders. The day I arrived from Francistown where I work was the day of the incident,” said Lillian the mother to Brian Seremile.