RIP former Swallows David Dolo and Baartman

RIP former Swallows David Dolo and Baartman

Two former professional football players – one a goalkeeper and the other a striker – who both at different stages of their careers played for Moroka Swallows, passed away on the same day this week.

I received news that legendary Moroka Swallows striker David Dolo, one of the feared strikers during the halcyon days of the defunct National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) kicked his last ball at his Mamelodi home on Tuesday this week.

I had been digesting the sad news when I was also assailed by the news that Arthur Baartman, who has also during his colorful career kept goals for Swallows at one stage of his career, had also passed away on Tuesday.

For youngsters who follow football and were not born during the turbulent 1970’s, the name Dolo will not ring a bell and neither will they find his name anywhere on the wires because even if you google him, there is not a single line on the famous searching tool that mentions his name.

Yet men like Ephrain “Shakes” Mashaba, Johannes “Yster” Khomane, Johannes “Ryder” Mofokeng or Patrick “Frelimo” Dibetla will tell you about the galloping Dolo who was deadlier than a rattlesnake with either foot or his strong head.

How he escaped the attention of scouts around Pretoria was because Swallows at the time had an incredibly hawk-eyed scout in David “Pine” Chabeli who spotted him at the Muckleneuck dusty grounds on the outskirts of Mamelodi playing for Black Birds after previously playing for Hampton City and recruited him.

Dolo was a terror on the field and instilled fear in the opposition largely because of his arrogant nature in going at defenders like a battering ram, and never gave defenders time to get set but would let loose a cannon with either foot.

His combination with John “Special” Makhubu, Edward “Lovemore” Mabaso, Enoch Langa, Samson Masuku, Andries “Six Mabone” Maseko and Daniel “Vader” Mophosho was the most potent in the NPSL.

Baartman on the other hand might have been considered a journeyman after turning out for Maritzburg City, Free State Stars, Dynamos, Moroka Swallows, African Wanderers, Kaizer Chiefs, Crystal Brains and Real Taj among other teams.

But it was surprisingly at Chiefs that he gained the respect of the nation as a top-class goalkeeper with consistently outstanding performances. He was retired and employed by Maritzburg as Goalkeeper coach.

Our deepest condolenses to their families and May their souls rest in eternal peace!

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Comments (2)

  • Musawenkosi Reply

    Greetings Mr Kwenaite ! My Name is Musawenkosi Solomon Dolo , the son of the Late David Dolo . This article touches me so much , and I’m saddened by how Legends like David Dolo are Not Being Honoured nor Celebrated in our Country . The List is Endless . But Thank you very Much for the Article .

    October 13, 2023 at 9:42 pm
    • Thomas Kwenaite Reply

      Dear Musawenkosi

      I grew up in Atteridgeville and my wife lived not very far far from your dad in Mamelodi – Section C1. I consider myself privileged to have watched your dad during his prime and I cannot imagine how you must have felt after he passed on. I experienced my own trauma when my own dad passed when I was only eight years old. I did not understand it then, I was too young to comprehend the challenges that life had in store for me and my siblibgs at the time until much later in life when the going got really tough when the single parent that was our mother, struggled to raise us after losing her job and there was no longer food on the table, fortunately at the time our neighbours came to our rescue and we could share with them. Believe me, I can relate to how you must have felt when Dolo senior passed, I hope God could grant you the strength to face life’s challenges head on and may he continue to rest in peace.

      October 17, 2023 at 8:08 am

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