Children at Naledi location in the south of Gaborone ran amok and screamed with delight at the sight of soccer legend Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane during the International Men’s Day commemorations last week. The former Zebras captain attended the commemorations alongside Mochudi Center Chiefs midfield maestro Pontsho ‘Piro’ Moloi, and they gave the kids inspirational lectures on the importance of sports and education. Selolwane encouraged the youth to take their education seriously and also play active sports.
“Education and talent can take you places. I have been to America because of my football talent,” he said.
He further encouraged fathers to be actively involved in their children’s upbringing, saying the excitement displayed by the children at the event underscored the importance of men in society.
“I grew up in a family of football. My mother was my mentor and she used to buy me soccer boots and footballs. I urge all parents to also support their children and become actively involved in their lives,” said.
As a teenager, Selolwane played football in the dusty streets of Old Naledi and later cut his teeth at renowned soccer power house Gaborone United before jetting off to the United States. In the US he played college football before joining the MLS League where he played for teams like Chicago Fire. Selolwane played for almost all the junior national teams before graduating to become an anchor of the senior national team. He was there during the dark days when the Zebras were named the whipping boys of Africa, until the glory days when the team made history by qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations that was co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Selolwane also had a stint in the South African Premier League, where he played for teams like Ajax Cape Town, Engen Santos and Jomo Cosmos. His exploits established him as one of the most respected players in the league until he retired from active football. Currently, he is the ambassador of Botswana Integrated Sports Association, tasked with identifying football talent at grass roots level.