He hardly called anybody by their given name, for he had a term of endearment for everybody he brought into his space. If he liked you, you would know. And when he didn’t like you, you would also know. He would often confess of boiling blood running through his veins at the mere mention of Liverpool and Antfield; while the Dube birds left his eyes with a glittering nostalgic shine. When he was at his happiest, you would hear him say “my life is a party.” Indeed his life was a party; and like the cops who come knocking in the dead of night, death came and stopped the music.
I don’t get this death thing. Every night my thoughts are plagued to no end as I try to make sense of it; and every night I am left even more perplexed. I don’t get this death thing. It picks and chooses us like M&M’s in a salad bowl. Leaving the rest of us bedeviled with the darkness of a bleeding heart, mixed with a dash of insomnia. The brain riddled with parts of a puzzle that struggle to fit perfectly, because a piece is missing.
I know we are all supposed to be equal. And the idea that after the game the king and pawn go in the same box is, noble. But the truth is, we are not the same. If you want to know that we are not, pay attention to the deafening silence that follows the abrupt announcements of death’s pickings. Sucking the breath out of our lungs from the rest of us like a punch to the solar plexus.
I don’t get it.
But like a Mongolian artist we keep laying the pieces of our lives that remain, just hoping that we might be able to pass off this product of the aftermath as a mosaic. I don’t get this death thing. While in the most inopportune time the eyelids weigh heavier that ten tons. And so we drink another cup of the strongest coffee we can find, just so we are able to push through another day.
Cebo Manyapelo is no more. The mere utter of these words feels so unreal that one is overcome with an involuntary urge to touch wood. Alas the desire serves no purpose, for the man is indeed gone.
And this past weekend as the first PSL fixtures kicked-off with him on the other side of the river for the first time. Players and supporters alike bowing their heads to observe the moment of silence; even Mother nature could not hold back her tears in cauldrons across the country. A broadcasting legend and a servant of the game has met his demise. One can only be grateful to have lived at a time when this man unselfishly discharged his God bestowed talent, with excellence.
1986-best radio commentary for Iwisa soccer spectacular.
1987-Radio commentary of the Bopsol
1990-SAB newcomer of the year
1992-NSL radio commentator
1994-Castle league broadcaster of the year
1998-SAB radio commentator of the year. Covered the opening game of the France 98 where South Africa competed for the first-time
2003-Voted the best new commentator.
2004-Shared the commentator of the year with Mark Gleeson.
2005-Won the category of television commentator alone.
2008-The PanSalb award for purity of language.
2010-Acknowledged by the North west sports Department.
119 Football Cup finals
4 FIFA World cups
6 World Boxing title fights
May his soul rest in everlasting peace – Amen and Amen.