Nam football fraternity pays tribute to Dr Khumalo’s mother

By Michael Uugwanga

THE Namibian football fraternity, like that of the South Africa football authorities, are mourning and paying their tribute to the mother of one of South Africa’s finest footballer,Theophilus “Doctor” Khumalo, following the death of his mother Mable, who passed away on Tuesday, 31 March.

Known to football followers in the region as Dr Khumalo or 16 Valve, Dr Khumalo as he preferred to be called during his playing days for South Africa’s biggest football club, Kaizer Chiefs, is married to Namibian Garises.

In a statement released by the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the association’s chairperson, Irvin Khoza, praised her for nurturing her son’s talent and guiding him to superstardom, saying “One of South Africa’s football families have lost their matriarch. Mme Mable Khumalo, mother of Doctor Khumalo, has departed. Our hearts and prayers are with the Khumalo family.

“We received the sad news of the passing of your dear mother, Mme Mable Khumalo at this difficult time when our nation and the world are in lockdown.We are grateful to Ausie Mable for her role besides the legendary late Eliakim ‘Pro’ Khumalo for nurturing an era-defining talent, Doctor Khumalo. May her soul repose peacefully.”

In Namibia, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) head of competitions, Titus Kunamuene, who personally knew the late Mable, also paid his respects, despite only learning the death of Mable through enquiries by Confidente Sport.

“She was like a mother to me because whenever we go to (Soweto),Johannesburg, South Africa she always looks after us. She was like a mother to me. May her soul rest in peace,” said Kunamuene.

Muhamed Ouseb played alongside Dr Khumalo after joining Kaizer Chiefs, having impressed the club’s hierarchy while representing Namibia’s Brave Warriors at the 1998 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Burkina Faso.Ouseb joined Chiefs from local club Chief Santos, then in the Namibia Premier League, along with another Namibian former international player Robert Nauseb.

“I joined Kaizer Chiefs in 1998 after the AFCON and that same season is when Dr Khumalo re-joined Chiefs from abroad at Columbus Crew Soccer Club in America. Dr Khumalo is a very funny guy and was one of those players that always made jokes at training.

“I really enjoyed playing with him. I would also join the rest that are paying tribute to his mother although I never met her, but as a former club mate it is so sad for him to lose his mother. May she rest in peace,” said Ouseb.

Also sending condolences to the Khumalo family, Nauseb said it was an honour for him to have played alongside a player such as Khumalo whom he used to admire on television.

“It was so exciting to play alongside someone you used to admire on TV. I know how it feels like losing a mother, regardless your age, as I have also lost my mother. I just want to send my condolences to the family of the big man (Dr Khumalo),” said Nauseb.