In the week in which the Zebras will face South Africa in a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier, the country is bidding farewell to one of its most colourful and illustrious players, Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane.
On Monday morning, Selolwane announced his retirement from international football, bringing the curtain down on an international career that has seen him don the senior national team jersey for nearly 15 years, winning over 100 caps.
Selolwane, the Zebras’ all-time leading scorer, made his final appearance at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon in February. Ahead of the Bafana Bafana match, Selolwane’s curtain call evokes memories of the stunning goal he scored against them during the 1999 Cosafa Castle Cup in a rain-soaked encounter played at the National Stadium.
The Zebras lost 2-1, but it was Dipsy’s execution of the goal that left a lasting impression and earned him a nickname, ‘U-Turn’.
“I have lived my dream and I feel that it is time to retire from international football.┬á I retired because I wanted to and it’s something which I thought about overtime. I have consulted (different people) before coming to such a decision. I leave behind many memories which make me proud,” Selolwane said at a press briefing on Monday. ┬á
The soft-spoken star paid tribute to all those who have supported him over the years, especially his family led by his mother, Gertrude Selolwane.
“I remain indebted to the supporters and I would like them to continue supporting the Zebras,” he said. Having played under so many coaches at senior level, including Michael Gaborone, Heinz Marotzke, David Bright, Veselin Jelusic and Stanley Tshosane, Selolwane added that it was a pleasure to have been guided by such reputable gaffers.
“Whatever I have right now I owe it to the beautiful game,” he said. In order to thank all those who supported him over the years, Selolwane has arranged a Benefit Match at UB Stadium on July 21 which will feature some of the big names in the South African Premier League.
Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Zuma (Supersport United), Reuben Cloete (Orlando Pirates) and George Maluleka (Ajax CapeTown) are some of the players expected to grace the occasion.┬á
Locally, Mogogi Gabonamong, Pontsho Moloi, Michael Mogaladi, Modiri Marumo and Tshepiso Molwantwa will also feature in the Dipsy XI. Selolwane’s team will face Gaborone United at 3pm, before retired Zebras’ players who played alongside Selolwane also showcase their talent.
“I remain grateful that these players have accepted my invitation at no cost,” he said.
The activities organized include a dinner which will be held at Gaborone Sun and an after party featuring several artists. Selolwane will also conduct a coaching clinic and host motivational shows at selected schools around Gaborone.
The organizer of Selolwane’s events, Fish Pabalinga, has called on companies to come on board to assist financially.
“Though all the players coming here come at no cost, I would like to call on companies to help us. It will be nice to give Dipsy the farewell he deserves,” said Pabalinga of Leapfrog Advertising.