Tributes continue to pour in for Orlando Pirates superfan Mandla “Mgijimi” Sindane, who died on Tuesday.
The Emalahleni-born Sindane was an ever-present figure in the stands for Pirates games across the country. The eccentric Buccaneer will be remembered for his unique white-painted face and white powder which he puffed almost as a magic charm to steer his team to victory.
Fellow Pirates fan Dejan Miladinovic expressed shock after learning of Sindane’s passing.
“It’s a big loss and it’s very sad what has happened. It was unexpected. May his soul rest in peace,” Miladinovic said.
“The last time I spoke with him was during the season, when games were still on. We would always meet at the stadium. He and I would always sit at different stands and cheer our team on.”
Millions of South African football fans have been deprived of the beautiful game since sporting events were suspended in March owing to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The PSL is set to make a return on August 8 without any fans in attendance.
The “Serbian wolf” adds that what makes Mgijimi’s passing sadder is that his death comes at a time when the PSL is about to return.
“We have not had football for many months and now it’s back. It would have nice for him to see our beloved Pirates play again, albeit on TV,” Miladinovic said.
Even opposition fans have paid homage to the late Sindane. Kaizer Chiefs fan Masilo Machaka said he would remember Mgijimi for his kind-hearted nature.
“It was with great sadness that I learnt about the passing of Mgijimi. Even though our teams are arch-rivals, as fans we always showed respect for each other and got along well.
“He was a good person and always had a big smile on his face. You could never find him in a bad mood. He was always kind to everyone around him.”
Machaka added that Sindane was known among supporters to be one of the earliest attendees at stadiums.
“I would always ask him how he got to the stadium so early. I don’t think he was ever late for a game in his life. More than two hours before kick-off and he would already be in the stands blowing his white powder,” Machaka reflected.