MOCHUDI: Multitudes of mourners descended in the village yesterday to bid farewell to Omphemetse ‘Mchovas’ Mokgadi. The 400m runner collapsed and died during training at UB stadium on Monday. People from different walks of life including Bakgatla royals attended Mokgadi’s funeral.
The 32-year-old was described as a hard worker and somebody who was passionate about athletics. The ever-laughing Mchovas respected the elderly, youngsters and teammates.
Despite the challenges such as lack of money for food and transport, he made sure that he never missed training. Speaking during the funeral, teammate, Isaac Makwala said he met Mokgadi in 2006. He said the deceased was a kind-hearted person and did not like begging.
“He was somebody who could not hustle you for anything. Even when he had nothing to eat, he would not beg. I worked with him until his unfortunate passing. We have lost great talent in him,” he said.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president, Thari Mooketsi said he only came to learn about the challenges that Mokgadi faced late. He said as an association they are also faced with difficulties
Kgosi Bana Sekai said they were shocked to learn that the athlete who had collapsed at the stadium was from Mochudi. He said Mokgadi had a bright future in athletics but unfortunately that was cut short.
“He let his work speak for him and he put effort in everything that he did. It is unfortunate to learn that the deceased was faced with challenges but nobody did anything to assist him. I wonder how the BAA did not notice that because they worked with him for a long time,” he said.
“Omphemetse e ne ele Mokgatla wa thoothoo. O ne a ile mophatong ko Afrika Borwa malobanyana hale. Go supa gore o ne a itshegeditse ka ngwao,” Sekai said.