I stumbled across this speech I delivered at the Memorial Service of the late BO MOSENEKE – a former colleague who was like a baby brother to me!
Even though my heart is heavy, and I feel a great lump forming in my throat as I battle with the flow of tears from cascading down my cheeks, remember, we are raised to strongly believe that men don’t cry. But then why is it so difficult to suppress this deep painful feelings of sadness that envelopes me when I recall Botshelo’s chubby cheeks, his clean shaven head and those gentle, angelic and laughing eyes?
I knew Reabetswe from a distance. In actual fact, I noticed him from the day he started co-presenting that weekly SABC sport magazine show – Woza Weekend – Nothemba Madumo. I watched him grow and blossom while I continued writing for The Star newspaper. Then 12, perhaps 13 years ago, Kaizer Chiefs invited the media to launch their transport sponsorship with bus company – Inter-Cape – by arranging a trip to Durban to watch Amakhosi against Rangers at Chatsworth.
As soon as we hit the N3 freeway, he came over and we started chatting. Along the way his father called and eventually I was dragged into the conversation between father and son. His father – Justice Dikgang Moseneke – requested me to spank him if he stepped an inch out of line, but he also asked me to take care of his son as well in the burstling city of gold.
I accepted the responsibility without hesitation and informed Reabetswe that if he dared to rub me up the wrong way, I had been given the license to beat the crap out of him. I want to assure his parents, that he never gave me cause to spank him, not once throughout the years I’ve known and worked with him. He never gave me cause to call him aside and give him a lecture about his conduct, which was exemplary.
Yes, he cursed a lot, I admit but I still have to come across anyone who could claim that he had a bone to chew with Reabetswe, that Bo Black or Superman was a back-chatter.
He was a bundle of energy, full of life and eager to please. There was something very gentle about him that endeared him to people and somehow I felt like he was the little brother I never had. He also had charm and I am not surprised that he has touched the lives of so many people. You only have to see the reaction of shock, dismay, hopelessness coupled with feelings of deep loss in people from all walks of life to realize that perhaps Reabetswe was indeed an angel.
Reabetswe was a happy child who was fiercely independent. He suffered from Diabetes, but never allowed it to dictate his life. In fact, he beat the damn disease and kept it under control for 20 years. He loved life and lived it to the full. He kept everyone on their toes with his pranks and I believe I speak for everyone at SuperSport, when I say that he was the life and soul of the company.
There is a site on the SuperSport zone where all presenters are required to fill in their personal details in a questionnaire. Where they ask individuals the names of their partners, Reabetswe replied that he was unsure which name to fill in, because there was only room for one name while he was married to 22 wives, 25 children and had lost count of his grand children… of course he was joking, but that was typically Bo, always seeing the funny side of things in life.
He spoke his mind and liked to debate issues. Yet in spite of his strong views, he chose to be diplomatic, perhaps even careful for fear of hurting the brittle egos of some of us, but he could be brutally frank if the situation demanded and always made sure that he drove his point of view across.
He loved his parents deeply and played golf with his father whom he called Square – his best buddy in the whole world. His mom, well, his mom was a combination of Margaret Thatcher, Winnie Mandela, Mother Theresa, Halle Berry, Zandi Nhlapo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka all rolled into one.
He had a special relationship with Dudu. I cannot find appropriate words to describe his deep love for his only sister. The manner in which he was huddled at a corner with Hood, whispering, laughing uproariously at a club in Durban during the Vodacom Challenge the first time I met his brother…. Sedise, I swore Hood was a very close friend, unaware that they were actually brothers.
Max Tshunungwa was very close to Bo. Lizzy, Itu, Alvin, Tara, Cynthia, Zai Khan, and many others I have not mentioned, all shared special relationships with Bo. Thomas Mlambo and Bo clicked on air and their friendship went beyond the corridors of SuperSport.
When I was requested to fill in for him after he was admitted to hospital four weeks ago, I thought I would call on my 24 years experience in the media to execute the duties of a field reporter during the Wednesday night games we broadcast live.
I experienced first hand, that Bo Moseneke was not only a thorough professional but wore very big shoes, and suddenly I discovered that it was not going to be easy to fill those shoes as I struggled. You know why? Because I had taken it for granted that his was an easy job, unaware that the boy was such a professional, such a natural that he made his difficult job look simple.
His parents named him Reabetswe, which means we have been blessed. His middle name is Botshelo, which when literally interpreted, means Life. We were certainly blessed to have shared this GIFT of LIFE. He was only 26, yet the boy has achieved what most of us fail to achieve in our lifetimes.
HERE IS A POEM, THAT I WISH TO READ TO HIS PARENTS
I HAVE NOT GONE
You think I’ve gone, that I am dead
And life has lost it’s will
But look around you……I am right here
Living with you still
I watch your tears, I feel your pain
I see the things you do
And I weep as well, each time you cry
My soul, it lives with you
In the stillness of the night
When the pain, it really starts
Stretch out a little with your mind
And draw me to your heart
For I am always right in there
Always by your side
For you have been all my life’s days
My joy, my love, my pride
May Reabetswe’s soul rest in peace!