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.