It was one afternoon of a windy season in 1999 when I read with trepidation the transfer of Neil Tovey from Kaizer Chiefs to Mamelodi Sundowns.
My ears could not believe what it was hearing on radio. To confirm the sad news, there I ran to my nearest Supermarket to get the latest copy of the Soccer Laduma newspaper.
The price was R1.80 and It was a lot of money by then. It was my money for lunch break at school. I was told of Soccer Laduma as a reliable source of information for local soccer news.
It was Thursday the12th of August 1999. As a reliable soccer source, the news was confirmed “Neil Tovey follows Paul Dolezar to Sundowns,” read the headlines.
Through its interaction with its readers, one can vividly remember the names of Jan Madiba, Tente Mokoka and Amos Tshukudu as the most prominent contributors in the “Make Your Point” feature.
How can I forget the now seasoned Journalist at Soccer Laduma Lunga Adams who was scouted from the township of Khayelitsha through his soccer savvy and analysis nous.
How can my memory forget the creative journalistic writing of former journalists Monwabisi Jimlongo, Sis Noyisi Notiki and Vuyani Joni? What about the inspirational words I was once given by former Soccer Laduma Journalist Tiyani Wa ka Mabasa during my Fresher days at Varsity that I should keep on contributing in Soccer Laduma pages because he saw a future journalist in my vast analysis of soccer.
For the past 15 years, Soccer Laduma and I remained intertwined, more like bread and butter. One of the perks of reading the paper is the reward I reaped through its promotions by rewarding its loyal readers.
Being featured in the Popeye sitcoms, winning the Coca-Cola competition twice in succession was unforgettable moments that will linger in my memory for time immemorial.
Soccer Laduma is more than a soccer newspaper to me. This paper serves as my inspiration and played a huge role in my career choice. Today I can proudly say I am a Senior Communications Officer with one of the governments department.
I owe my all to the influence this paper had on my life. Soccer Laduma has been my home for the past 15 years without missing a single copy of it. As life has its own ups and downs, one of the best highlights of sharing a Soccer Laduma was growing up reading it together with the Sundowns Midfielder Hlompho Kekana.
How he was determined to make it big in football. He saw an invite to attend trials in Tshiamo soccer Academy in Turfloop in the pages of this paper. A quantum leap.
This paper has been my home for the past 15 years without missing a single copy of it and my allegiance continues.