ALL speakers at the funeral service of NU 7 Citizens founder and president, the late Mzwandile Mekuto, in Motherwell on Saturday, described him as a community builder who had left an indelible mark in soccer.Mekuto passed away on December 22, 2018 after a short illness. Citizens’ former player, Simphiwe Spider Sijaji, told the hundreds of mourners that Mekuto, who was affectionately called Sikhulu or Bawo uKhumalo, saved hundreds of youth from perishing by establishing the NU 7 Citizens FC more than 25 years ago. Sijaji said that Mekuto used his house as their clubhouse. “Sikhulu accommodated us in his house when we held club meetings and gathering together. He dug deep into his pocket to run the club. “He treated us as his own children. He was good at developing players because he produced many stars that went on to play for teams like Orlando Pirates, Blackburn Rovers and FC Buffalo. He was very strict and he could deal with ill-disciplined players”, said Sijaji.Citizens’ legend, Melumzi Norushu, also shared the same sentiments of Sijaji. “Sikhulu was passionate about education. He wanted all the players to be educated. Today, lots of the club’s players pursued their studies because of the good influence of Bawo uKhumalo,” said Norushu who added that death had robbed Motherwell of a community builder.SAFA national official and former president, Mzimkhulu Fina, said that Mekuto was a true community servant who dedicated his life to developing the youth, particularly in sport. Fina described Mekuto as an approachable leader and disciplinarian who did not compromise on discipline. Fina said, “I have dealt with a down-to-earth leader who had a vision all the time. He was also a flexible man who was straight-forward. We lost a man with good leadership qualities.”Mekuto, who was buried at Motherwell Cemetery, is survived by his wife, son, two brothers, sister and his grandchildren.