Makelo: Committed runner, administrator and technical official

2013-01-12 00:00

Kelello Makelo : June 27, 1969 — January 8, 2013

COMMITMENT was the common thread that linked the multi-facets of Kelello Makelo, who died at Umhlanga Hospital after a short illness, on Tuesday.

Makelo was a runner, administrator and technical official within the athletics community, where he was a founding member of the Lamontville club.

He ran the first of his seven Comrades in 1991 in the colours of Indumiso while training as a teacher at the age of 21.

After a five-year break, he returned to the Comrades road, this time in a Lamontville kit, completing the up run in a time that would today have earned him a Bill Rowan medal, a feat he repeated three years later in the down run, giving his best time of 8:49,52. This was the same year he ran the first of four Two Oceans 56 km ultras, two of which made the sub-five hour cut-off time.

But it was his commitment to administration where he most recently left his mark.

Makelo, who commenced as an official in the mid nineties, was known for sharp analysis and application of rules, and spent his latter years as a committee member and leader in the provincial sport.

In April last year, he was elected to the executive of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics, where he carried the technical portfolio.

He commenced his professional career as a mathematics teacher at Lamontville High School, later moving into the world of assurance with Sanlam, where he was acknowledged as an outstanding financial planner. Makelo was later appointed to the regional committee and made major inputs to the transformation of the business sector.

He was never one to forget his background and in addition to driving and sponsoring the community through the Lamonville athletic club, Makelo was appointed to his old school’s governing body, which he was known to vigorously support.

This commitment to the community was also evident in his church activities.

In December 1995, he married his childhood sweetheart, Zenzi, where that hallmark commitment shone brighter as a successful husband and father of three.

His untimely death has left the athletic community shocked, with a large representation attending his memorial service which was held last Thursday.

The funeral process will commence at 9 am at eThekwini Community Church in Brickfield Road, Durban, on Saturday. The family has requested that where possible runners wear their running kit for the funeral to honour Kelelo Makelo’s life which revolved around athletics.

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