SELEBI-PHIKWE: Hundreds of football fans and mourners across the game’s spectrum turned up to pay their last respects to veteran football administrator, Tebro Tubego Onkabetse, who died aged 67.
Different speakers described Onkabetse as an influential, reliable and humble person who was passionate about football. Tebro, as he was affectionately known, was the former Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee member.
He was Selebi-Phikwe Regional Football Association (SPRFA) chairperson for many years. Amongst those present at the burial were former Zebras coach, Stanley Tshosane, former BFA president Tebogo Sebego, ex- Township Rollers and national team captain Mmoni Segopolo, and former BFA CEO Ashford Mamelodi.
BFA NEC member, Eatlametse Olopeng who is the National Referee’s Committee chairperson said Onkabetse was no longer interested in football politics but was now an elder who was very influential as he gave advice with his great knowledge of local football.
He said during the BFA election period, Onkabetse would phone each one of them to give his views on how they should run football when elected into office. “Tebro contributed massively to local football. He is the former team manager for junior national teams.
He travelled with them despite his busy schedule as we know that he was also a businessman,’’ he said. SPRFA chairperson, Barulaganyi Moloi told the gathering that Tebro was a parent who took care of them and that he will monitor everything they did that concerns football in their region. “He encouraged us on the issue of youth development which BFA is now pursuing, to ensure that it is implemented in all the regions around the country. He was passionate about grassroots development.
He believed that for a person to be a complete footballer, they need to be
Onkabetse’s daughter, Otshidile Onkabetse remembered her father for his kindness, which is perhaps the reason he was liked by everyone. “When we went shopping, we will take two hours on the way, because he will greet each and every person he meets,” she said. Otshidile said his father sacrificed a lot for them to be who they are today. She said his father believed in her and taught her to put everyone before herself, to love and respect them.
Former BFA president, Sebogo described Onkabetse as a humble person.
“By the time I showed interest in contesting for BFA presidency I came to him. He was a friend to David Fani who was the president at the time. He told me that I am intelligent and he already had an agreement with David Fani.
Because of this reason he told me not to think he hates me because he never breaks his promise, something that made me to respect him even more,’’ he said. Sebego said when he became the BFA president in 2013, he started giving awards to those who served football diligently. ‘Mara’ said Onkabetse was the first recipient of the BFA presidential award for his contribution to football.