Serving the community

2018-10-10 06:02
Clive Solomon shaking hands with President Nelson Mandela while former Premier Terror Lekota looks on. Photo: Supplied

Clive Solomon shaking hands with President Nelson Mandela while former Premier Terror Lekota looks on. Photo: Supplied

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Serving the community remains an integral part of celebrated Bloemfontein community builder Clive Solomon (74).

Solomon is one of the prides and joy of the Heidedal community, having served in various influential positions in the administration of sport and community organisations.

As community builder Solomon entwined both community politics and sport politics.

He was able to strike a balance in both fields although his involvement appeared to have happened by default.

“It came with sacrifices of my family, wife and children,” he said.

Football influenced his life more than any other sporting code.

Testimony was recognition by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). In 2007 he was awarded the CAF 50 Years Golden Jubilee Award, rewarding his immense contribution to the development of football.

Solomon’s involvement dated back from the era of struggle for non-racial sport in South Africa, famed with the slogan “no normal sport in an abnormal society”. This slogan was coined during the politics of South African football which is the story of people who had a passionate resistance and declaration that there could be “no normal sport in an abnormal society”.

It proved to be a powerful antidote to the apartheid government’s assurance that “all was well”.

Solomon has also received recognition for his role as community builder of Bloemfontein, and was awarded the Bloemfonteiner of the Year accolades, acknowledging his work ser­ving the community.

Born and bred in Bloemfontein, this stalwart is well-known as Oom Clive.

He came to the picture through community politics during the time of Norman Double, who had happened to play a role in community politics as a representative in the Bloemfontein City Council.

“Community politics started in the 1980s, with influence from the community. Unhappy with certain aspects needing urgent attention, I was delegated along with others to represent the community in the city council meeting.

“One official then asked, writing on a piece of paper what degree I have to qualify to be there. In Afrikaans I responded as such, Ek het net ‘n ruggraat, meaning I have a backbone degree. Obvious it did go well with this fellow at the first meeting,” Solomon recalled.

This encounter set the tone for his serious involvement in community politics, but abandoning the politics of sport proved just unthinkable.

A walking encyclopedia, Solomon has had the honour to deliver a lecture for students at the University of the Free State in the 1990s about the development of Heidedal.

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