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All of us, regardless of talent, require somebody to help us realise our dreams. In my case, there are two people who made my dream of becoming a journalist a reality. They are Mathatha Tsedu and Charles Mogale.
So, as you can imagine, I was devastated when I heard that Charles had passed on, after being in a coma in hospital for a while. He had sustained serious injuries in a car accident. He had suffered a stroke while driving.
He offered me my first permanent job as a reporter for City Press, a little over 20 years ago. I had no formal training in journalism. The only guide of writing a story was given to me by Tsedu, who introduced me to Sapa, Sowetan and City Press news editors. I started writing for these organisations on a freelance basis.
Mogale noticed my writing and called me to offer me a job. The Mogale I know was a very funny man. But he was more than that. He was a good human being who treated every body with respect.
He was a loving husband. He was a great father to Kgosi and Tumi. He often spoke about his children.
He was also politically conscious and had a radical mind. I remember him saying that he used to adore Nelson Mandela.
Mogale was indeed an unpaid comedian.
He once asked Pearl Rantsekeng, who was a young reporter, to buy him chips. As Rantsekeng appeared reluctant, Mogale quickly said: “Pearl, do not forget that if it were not for me, you would be working for an escort agency.”
Rest in peace, Mavula, Charlie Bafana.
l He will be buried in the Vaal tomorrow. The funeral service will start from 8am to 11am at Church of Ascension (Anglican) in Sebokeng. The cortege will then proceed to the cemetery in Jacobskop, Vereeniging.