Loved and Lost: Alex Shakoane

(25 August 1960 – 7 May 2023)

By Linda Ximba

Long before the advent of social media, football club promoters heavily relied on radio stations to market the matches.

And the late Alex Shakoane, who died after suffering a stroke on Sunday evening, was a master in garnering support each time his Mamelodi Sundowns side were to face Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates.

The man, who was fondly known as “Mr Gold Fingers” because he always wore shining gold rings, ensured that you looked forward to the match.

He would boast about his team being best prepared for the encounter with the opposition. His banters with Chiefs’ public relations officer (PRO) Louis Tshakoane were legendary. They would have a go at each other live on TV before the match.

One of the memorable statements Shakoane made ahead of a Pirates game in the early 2000s was, “Parliament will be closed on Monday.” He was insinuating that most MPs were Pirates supporters and wouldn’t have the courage to report for work the next day.

Born in Mamelodi 67 years ago, Shakoane was a Sundowns diehard through and through. Even after being fired by the club over rape allegations in 2008, he returned to the same team. During Sundowns’ formative years in the 1970s, Shakoane was part of it and helped grow its supporters base.

In a statement, Sundowns boss Tlhopie Motsepe paid tribute to the fallen flamboyant official.

“The Motsepe family, the Board, the Supporters and all the members of the Mamelodi Sundowns Family mourn and are deeply saddened by the passing of Alex “Goldfinger” Shakoane whom we all loved dearly. Bra Alex’s life was all about Mamelodi Sundowns and we will miss his unique contributions and larger-than-life personality.” Details of the memorial and funeral services will be announced soon.

Pictured above: Alex Shakoane

Image source: TimesLive


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