Books honour history of Celtic FC

2019-08-07 06:00
The Central University of Technology, Free State, hosted the official launch of two books, Resilient Ntate Molemela and Dance Siwelele, dedicated to Dr. Rantlai Molemela and Bloemfontein Celtic supporters and the club, respectively. Dignitaries at the function held in Bloemfontein on 15 July are, from the left, Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal of the CUT), Mike “The Puma” Litsili (former Celtic player), Victor Mahatanya (co-founding director of Celtic), Molefi Mika (author), Catherine Mathobisa (wife to the late Norman Mathobisa, co-founding director of Celtic) and Sello Molemela (son of the late Dr Petrus Molemela). Photo: Supplied

The Central University of Technology, Free State, hosted the official launch of two books, Resilient Ntate Molemela and Dance Siwelele, dedicated to Dr. Rantlai Molemela and Bloemfontein Celtic supporters and the club, respectively. Dignitaries at the function held in Bloemfontein on 15 July are, from the left, Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal of the CUT), Mike “The Puma” Litsili (former Celtic player), Victor Mahatanya (co-founding director of Celtic), Molefi Mika (author), Catherine Mathobisa (wife to the late Norman Mathobisa, co-founding director of Celtic) and Sello Molemela (son of the late Dr Petrus Molemela). Photo: Supplied

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The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT), has contributed to its wealth of knowledge by launching two books.

The university hosted the official launch of the two historic books, Dance Siwelele and Resilient Ntate Molemela, on 15 July.

Dance Siwelele, a book on the rich history of Bloemfontein Celtic FC, traces the founding generation of players and owners and highlights the uniqueness of the club’s staunch supporters.

These supporters, whose dancing and singing are second to none, attracted the attention of the Fifa bosses and the international media during the World Cup final hosted by South Africa in 2010.

Resilient Ntate Molemela is a comprehensive and inspiring biography of the late Dr Petrus “Whitehead” Molemela, who managed Celtic for more than 20 years.

The biography details his triumphs and tribulations – from being mocked and ridiculed as a child, to becoming a notable entrepreneur, football administrator and owner of Celtic.

These two books are an initiative of two media practitioners, namely Molefi Mika, retired Sowetan sports editor and inductee of the South African Sports Hall of Fame, and Teboho Setena, photojournalist and editor of Express.

Mika is the author, while Setena acted as the project coordinator and co-researcher.

CUT collaborated with the media practitioners and the Molemela family for the launch of these two historic books, who brought together role players in the formation of the club, known as Phunya Sele Sele in 1969.

  • The CUT’s celebration of Molemela dates back to 2006, when he was awarded an honorary degree for his contribution to sports development in the Central Region and South Africa.

In partnering to launch the two books, the CUT lives up to the mission Reimage CUT, Living Our Values.

Addressing the guests at the launch on 15 July, Prof. Henk de Jager, vice-chancellor and principal, said the CUT has become a university for the people of the region, South Africa and beyond.

De Jager described Molema as a fearless sports administrator who made huge contributions to the soccer fraternity in South Africa.

“It is an honour for us as a university to be associated with Dr Molemela.

“He was an intellectual, entrepreneur, political activist, community leader and a gallant person who remains part of our own narrative of where we come from, the advancements we have made, and the future we are building not only for the people of this community, but also for generations to come.

“Dr Molemela will forever be a part of us, as one of our buildings is also named after him,” said De Jager.

He added that the books will be useful as case studies of entrepreneurs.

According to Mika, the two books are worthwhile in recording the history of the sport and honouring those who sacrificed to keep the game alive.

“When good things happen in sports, we tend to forget easily.

If you work in the media fraternity, you do not realise that your role is also to help as a main stakeholder. We tend to forget that we are the watchdogs in sports,” he said.

“The story of Ntate Molemela and Celtic are of historic importance, and needed to be documented so that the coming generations can know about him and the selfless contributions he made towards the development of soccer in this country.”

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