A goalpost giant

2017-10-12 06:00
Gcinumzi Cecil “Gigi” Ntlebi

Gcinumzi Cecil “Gigi” Ntlebi

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This is a tribute to the late Gcinumzi Cecil “Gigi” Ntlebi. May his soul rest in peace.

Gigi is the one and only lion of Gugs when it comes to the coaching theatre. I don’t think that one can do justice on the narrative of the life and history of Sithabathibane.

His was veritably a reflection of a golden dream. Like a phoenix he rose from the ashes and flew into a world of gigantic sportsmen.

He made his mark and because his body needed respite, he left, forever. From being a hefty boy kicking and diving behind the poles during training sessions of CT Pirates. He watched Jeje performing his acrobats, he went on to become his protégé. He spent his years as a junior goalkeeper to Nogi.

He never complained a bit actually he seemed content. He had a short stint as senior goalkeeper until he decided to become a football coach. Many prominent soccer players came through his masterly coaching routines.

I can proudly say he introduced ladies football in Gugulethu. He went on to produce national material, lady Mtokwana at NY 1is a living testimony and many others.

He first formed CTP Ladies Club and then coached Winnie Ladies football club. Among the teams he coached one can mention CT Pirates juniors. He had a passion for developing raw material and an eye for discovering uncut diamonds. He could see diamond in a rough. He would turn it into a cut and polished jewel. Ask any soccer loving fellow and they will attest. He went on to coach the likes of Hellenic, JL Zwane and of course CT All Stars.

Often times a giant would walk among us and we would miss the opportunity to appreciate it until the heavens pull it asunder lifting it to the more appreciating audience. He grew up under my tutelage and I watched him blossom into a national asset. Yes I marvelled at his works and now he is but a memory.

May his soul rest in peace with the hope that the angels will appreciate his company.

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