Full-time supporters are the familiar faces of South African football. Without fail, they are there cheering their team on regardless of how full or empty the stadium is. But what do they sacrifice in their lives to follow their clubs around?
Full-time Bloemfontein Celtic supporter Botha Msila sacrifices time to pursue other ways of making a living as he spends a lot of time on the road:
“I have two children that need to be nurtured and if I don't get a monthly salary it becomes difficult. I can’t raise my children the proper way… It costs me my time and my proper way of doing things to make a living.”
- Full-time supporter: Botha Msila
Being a supporter on this scale also takes up time for family. Former Kaizer Chiefs full-time supporter Masilo Machaka admitted that he would go a year without seeing his family because he was always on the road following the club:
“They [family] would tell me 'You never come to see us! When are you coming?’ And I would say 'Mom, dad, I am sorry, but football is where my heart is'. I said this not knowing that I am being controlled by football. I would take a full year without seeing my family.”
- Former full-time supporter: Masilo Machaka
The sacrifices the supporters make to always be there for their clubs is often unrewarded. But for the experiences that they gain as full-time supporters, they say it becomes worthwhile.
Basetsana "Mama Tsontso" Mtsweng, a Mamelodi Sundowns full-time supporter, reminisced over the memories she made with the club:
“They gave me lifetime memories. No one will ever take that away from me.”
- Full-time supporter: Basetsana "Mama Tsontso" Mtsweng
Do you think full-time supporters should be rewarded by their clubs for their consistent support and the sacrifices they make? Let us know what you think about this and leave your comments below.