It is around 1100 hrs on a Friday at the main Francistown Prison and inmates are going about their daily business of manual work. Some, of course, have finished theirs and are relaxed. Seated on an oval shaped stone is an introverted man reading a soccer magazine. His name: Sam “Mchacho” Setume.
Setume is being held in remand at the Francistown Prison pending a case of murder he was charged with in Selebi-Phikwe.
Here we are referring to the Godfather of football in Selebi-Phikwe. Born in Zimbabwe, Setume came to Botswana at a young age. He is now a Motswana citizen by naturalization.
In the early 80s, the man fondly called “Mchacho” starred for the now defunct, all conquering Black Peril Football Club alongside the likes of Michael ‘Spokes’Gaborone and Ashford ‘Dumba’Mamelodi. In his hey-days as a Peril player, Setume was known for his robust style of play. He was a no-nonsense player who could shrug off defenders with the aggression of a wounded lion.
After securing a job with BCL mine in the mid 80s, Setume joined the sparkling Nico United side that clinched the Lions Cup in 1986. At Majombolo, Setume was mainly used to harass the opposition defence with his aggression. He was not your king of fancy striker who could dance on the ball. His main weapon was shielding defenders, thereby allowing his swift teammates to finish off the moves.
When he saw this reporter, who happens to be one of his prot├®g├®s, Setume warmly said; “O teng ngwanake, ke gone fa.Ke tsaya gore o setse o utlwile (You are fine my son. I am here. I believe you have heard already).
Well, crime should not be accommodated in our society. However, we should also look at the positives.
Upon hanging his boots at Nico United, Setume did not divorce himself from football completely. There was a below average Granada Wanderers Football Club based in Ikageleng Extension in Selebi-Phikwe, a kilometer from where Setume stayed.
‘Chacholas’, as some football fanatics preferred to call him, joined the team. Granada Wanderers was made up of young schoolboys who played football just for fun. Sometimes the team could not travel for their games to places such as Bobonong and Sefophe due to lack of transport. Sometimes they could not honour fixtures because almost the entire team did not have football boots. (The BFA rules prohibit playing football without boots). This all changed when Setume joined the team in 1996. He dug deep from his family coffers to sponsor the team. He bought items like kits, boots and nets. He also used his vehicle to transport players to and from games. He was also the team’s tactician.
Abruptly, Granada was the envy of many a player. The players were well looked after and the results were there for everyone to see. The team made its presence felt and soon they were in the Chibuku second division. Together with McAlpine, Mosquito, Redlions, Phikwe Pirates and JPS, Granada made the North East region second division an exciting affair.
Setume made sure that all his players were happy to the extent that he even bought some of them school uniforms.
The soft-spoken mentor was eventually kept from the football grounds by an attack by the Cerebro-Vascular accident and he was never the same again. His fitness level clearly took a nose dive and Granada also took a dip in form. Guess what! The once feared outfit is now perched at the basement of the third division. The messiah is not there to fix broken components in the team.
Sunday Standard Sport caught up with one of the team’s former players under Setume, Timothy ‘Radks’Sejankabo.
‘We are all shocked. Setume was a father to all of us. To us, it appeared he could not even hurt a fly. He was so down to earth and loving. His situation has affected the younger boys at the team and some of them no longer come to training,” said Sejankabo.