It is a sad day for South African football. A giant is all but set to have its wings clipped, with the earth shaking and dust rising as it comes crashing to the ground and, with it, the dreams of hundreds and thousands of South Africans. Moroka Swallows have been all but grounded, a once-mighty and proud club has all but disappeared into the black hole of the ABC Motsepe League… Will they ever take flight again?
The Dube Birds were founded in 1947 by Ishmael Lesolang, Strike Makgatha, and Johnny Kubheka, making them one of the oldest clubs in South Africa. The original Soweto Derby was, in fact, between Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates.
Today, we get ready to bid the club farewell as they are one game away from relegation from the NFD, and it is possible we will never see them again. The ABC Motsepe League is not a well-lit corridor, and we have heard the rumours of rampant corruption and petty-cash grants.
It leaves a lump in the throat when one thinks of the supporters who throw their hearts behind this team, a very well-supported club that is now only a shadow of its former self.
Some fantastic players have also graced the field for the Dube Birds, including: Lerato Chabangu, Owen Da Gama, Roger De Sa, Greg Etafia, Steve Lekoelea, Dennis Lota, Shakes Mashaba, Katlego Mashego, Collins Mbesuma, Fabian McCarthy, Vuyo Mere, MacBeth Sibaya, Thomas Hlongwane, Gary McNab, Mark Williams, and Siyabonga Nomvethe, to name just a few…
The supporters will certainly be sad to see them go.
"Shame Swallows." – pusco12
"Goodbye Swallows, till we meet again." – Stebo Ramasilo
"A dark day indeed in our history, and I ask why. The beautiful birds will soar high again. Up the birds!" – Mayyapa
Swallows must win their next game, against fifth-placed Witbank Spurs, by six goals and hope that both Thanda Royal Zulu and African Warriors lose if they are to have a chance of survival. In other words, they need a miracle.
So this is goodbye Moroka Swallows, I hope we meet again someday. We will not hear of or see your battles on the footballing field for a while, but we trust that you will fight with heart and do right by your supporters in clawing your way back up to your rightful place in the top flight of South African football once again...