Motaung Junior’s boot earns him a place among elite scorers

2011-03-05 19:33

It was “The Bard” – William Shakespeare to the uninitiated – who wrote in Act II, sce v, Twelfth Night: “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust ­upon them.”

One has, over some years now, followed and observed ­Kaizer Motaung Junior’s career with keen interest – as one does with many footballers.

One’s initial feeling when he was thrown into the sometimes cruel game of soccer was that
of pity.

Having witnessed his father, Kaizer Motaung – albeit in the twilight of his career – one could not help but think the youngster would always be judged by his ­father’s feats. This was the view of those who saw “the old man” play or even those who have been regaled with anecdotes of how he used to bamboozle the opposition with his deft footwork, particularly his well-cultured left foot.

Oh! How sweet and fond memories can be, as they sometimes give one a warm – albeit short-lived – sensation akin to that of a young boy wetting his pants while he is dripping with winter rain.

To paraphrase American diva Gladys Knight, memory makes the past look so great; as if the winters had been warmer and the ­summers longer.

And indeed, Motaung Junior underwent intense vilification.

It seems like yesterday when last season the crowd – or to be more precise Kaizer Chiefs fans, whose slogan is “Peace and Love” only when it suits them – booed and called for his head.

In the true form of the great playwright – The Bard – who penned, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once” (Act II, sce ii, Julius ­Caesar), the younger Motaung persevered and has eventually made his critics eat humble pie.

His showing has catapulted him to a point where he is the second striker after the fiery Zimbabwean, Knowledge ­Musona.

Had he cowered under pressure and succumbed to the vociferous boo brigade, he would not have scored the crucial goal in the Golden Derby last Saturday, thus adding to other important strikes he pulled off in the current season.

He has now joined the elite club of a few players who have the honour of having scored in South ­Africa’s biggest game.

Whoever said perseverance is the mother of all success knew what they were talking about.

It’s a pity he is turning 30 on ­August 8, which means that the nemesis of all sportspeople – age – will soon catch up with him.

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