By Owen Mafukele

Owen Mafukele is a Freelance Journalist and Creative writer. Political commentator and a soccer Aficionado.

In anticipation of the world cup kick-off in Russia, this lowly newspaper man was once found stuck with a group of old buddies who has made quenching their thirst with the home made sorghum beer (Umqomboti) a palatable indulgence.

Little did I know that such an exercise which many would chose to call it futile and a waste of space could take us through the night, while those who seemingly enjoyed their traditional beer took turns to gulp and indulge in it.

Out of curiosity, one drinking partner who was also part of the group, saw the old lady ‘Mhani Nwa-Mafemani’ showing some signs of tiredness and she could be seen slumbering from a distance.

It was already passed her bedtime and she couldn’t leave my fellow village boys behind drinking before she packs for bed.

A concerned soul from one of the drinkers asked her in a scornful voice; as, to why was she not going to bed since the signs were there for all to see that she was pushing herself to remain awake even though it was way past her bedtime.

The old woman responded instantly, which then left me gobsmacked. “I am waiting for you boys to finish drinking umnqomboti, because the bucket that contains your traditional beer is my chamber at night”…

On  Saturday, July the 7th, Russia whom many of their star players ply their trade in Russia for teams like Spatak Moscow and Rubin Kazan locked horns with the star studded team Croatians led by Luka Modric who has made a name for himself playing for the Spanish giants Real Madrid.

As the hosts, Russia went into the match as underdogs. Many soccer fanatics did not give them a chance to perform and had written them to be a walk over for whomever was pitted with them in one group. However, it was not to be.

Russia came all the way into the last eight round of matches (Quarterfinals), where they somewhat proved their detractors otherwise by punching above their weights and took the game to extra-time and penalties, but lost the match through the spot kicks.

Maxangu ya ntlangu wa bolo ndza wa chava…

Russia threw everything to Croatia including the kitchen sink to force the match into extra-time and concluded the showpiece with the lottery of penalties.

The hosts played like a team possessed and did somehow manifest that a great deal of determination and discipline could go a long way to complement the lack of talent on a field of play.

Who would have thought that these bunch of Russians as hosts could stand their ground and play the game of football ready to die with their boots on, work their fingers to the bone, and presented a united front whilst they also had their  hearts rolled up their shirt sleeves.

Hard work does pay dividends and the Vladmir Putin’s nation held their own in front of the whole world tonight.

Congratulations are well in order to Croatia but Russia too deserves a pat on the back for giving you guys a run for your money.

Football at its utmost best is what we were subjected to and it’s all thanks to the host nation for their hospitable hospitality throughout the tournament.

BYF sporting codes a success!


From left,  Michael Ndlovu,  Samson Mthombeni and Cynthia Chauke in the lead.  Photo/ Blessing Mabunda. 

By Angie Nkuna

GIYANI- At least 59 participants took part in the first ever mini-marathon at Bambeni village, which was organized by Bambeni Youth Forum (BYF) last Friday, 27 April 2018.

Amongst the participants were senior citizens who came in numbers to be part of the historical event in Bambeni village, Ka- Dzumeri outside Giyani.

The 5 kilometres mini- marathon started at 6am from Madyisa cafe and proceeded to R529 route. At least 20 participants, which were categorised by their age groups, respectively from juniors to elderly people were amongst the participants.

Samson Mthombeni (32) led the race in all categories from the first minute until the end of the 5 kilometres mini- marathon. In second position Michael Ndlovu (29) had to push Floyd Gobela (18) into position 3, followed by Juniet Mchavi (18) and Thapelo Mokoena in positions  4 and 5 respectively.


Samson Mthombeni receiving his Gold medal.  Photo/ Apply Rakgwatla. 

The 22-year-old Cynthia Chauke maintained her lead in position 5 from the first minute of the race until at the end. Chauke is the winner in the woman/girls category.

Ward 19 Councillor, George Mthombeni (50) is the winner in the senior citizens age group category, followed by Mariah Gobela (50).

Meanwhile, in soccer, Bambeni FC Porto are the winners of the Top 4 Tournament after defeating Bambeni PSG 3- 2 on penalties. In ladies’ soccer, Bambeni PSG won 4- 3 on penalties defeating Bambeni All Stars.

In Netball, Bambeni Juniors were defeated 25- 13 by their counterpart from Gandlanani village. Bambeni Senior Blue Team won 27- 17 against their village counterpart, The Black team.

The chairperson of the Forum, former Mughana Lonene FM DJ, Junior Zitha, the Mystik Jae says the Freedom Day Fundraising Event was the beginning of everything in the village and good things are yet to come.

The Forum is currently working on June 16 Uprising Event.