Arriving at the National Stadium around 5pm, one would have thought that a big match was about to kick off in few minutes. Fans streamed into the stadia in numbers, while others who happened to have arrived earlier sang their lungs out. In the big screen mounted on the northern side of the stadium, the video clips were being played. Many looked at the clips and laughed as if he were still alive.
At the top table, the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) chairperson Solly Reikeletseng and Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Tebogo Sebego were joined by other dignitaries. It was the fans’ song and dance which comforted the mourners including Rakgowa’s family. When he took to the podium to welcome the mourners, BNSC acting Chief Thato Kgosimore said it was important for those in attendance to be in a celebratory mood because Rakgowa was always in smiles.
“Today we must celebrate the life of great man,” briefly said Kgosimore before the mourners erupted into another song which is said to have been close to Rakgowa’s heart. On behalf of the family, Petrus Rakgowa said, “we’ll never see him again but we’ve to appreciate that he is in good hands up there. I’ve come to realize today how important he was to all of you here and we appreciate the difference he made in your lives. Sam wasn’t a sulky person and he was able to bring a lot of happiness whenever he was around. As a family we appreciate your support so much and it will live long in our memories.”
BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng said what Sam did when he was alive inspired many. He described the Mokokwana-born as a true supporter who hated to see his beloved Rollers and Zebras lose. “Sam wouldn’t think of work whenever Rollers were playing because he was passionate. He is the kind of supporter we needed because I doubt if you (supporters) realize the role you play in acquiring sponsorships for sports organizations,” said Reikeletseng.
National teams’ committee chairperson Bothamo Boitumelo said that Sam has taught them that it is important for them to rally behind their teams in good and bad times. She said there was never a dull moment whenever Sam was around. “He taught us that even when the Zebras are trailing, we should continue singing and dancing. Therefore I would like to appeal to Batswana to come in large numbers when we play Tunisia (in the African Nations qualifier on November 14 at the National Stadium) in honour of Sam.
We know that if he were alive he would be part of us at the game,” she said. Rollers’ chairman Walter Kgabung said that they are proud to have passionate fans like Sam who always rally behind the team irrespective of the results. He said Sam contributed immensely towards the establishment of supporters’ branches countrywide and they are proud of that.
BFA president Tebogo Sebego said that it is important to think of the good things Sam did when he was still alive. “One thing I appreciated about him was love and passion for the game. We must learn from his contribution towards the game,” said Sebego. Sam is credited with the formation of Township Rollers’ women side and he happened to be the first coach of the club. He is survived by his father and four siblings. He was an employee of the BNSC since 2007 where he served in different capacities. May his soul rest in peace.