Legendary Newlands stadium ice cream seller recalls happiest night in 55 years
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Cape Town – One of the fondest memories for
Mogamat “Boeta” Cassiem, who celebrates 55 years of selling ice cream to sport fans at the two world-renowned rugby and cricket stadiums in Newlands, has more to do with music than with sports.
Recalling the precious memory as he took a short break from his beloved ice-cream selling at yesterday’s game between South Africa and England at the Newlands Cricket Stadium, Mitchells Plain resident Cassiem said: “I sold mainly at the rugby and cricket events, but one night I received tickets to go and watch Lionel Ritchie perform a music concert at one of the two stadiums.
“When I met him that night, he asked me if the lady at my side was my bodyguard, and I said ‘no, she’s my wife’ and we all had a hearty laugh with him about it,” recalled the 65-year-old.
A not-so-pleasant memory, which he considered was water under the bridge, was when his erstwhile employers for 15 years, the then Argus company and its management, charged and dismissed him at a disciplinary hearing for being absent from work to sell ice cream at the Newlands rugby stadium.
Insisting that he had requested and received permission from a supervisor for time off from work on that day, many years ago, Cassiem said that managers attending the game had seen him selling ice cream in the stands.
“It’s all behind me. It did not put me off. Now I have made such a success in the ice-cream business that I could put my four children through university.
“The eldest, Yusuf Cassiem, is a labour lawyer, second eldest, my daughter Farzana Israel, has a BA management degree, third eldest Seraj Cassiem
is a travel agent and the youngest,
Weedaad Esau, is a teacher,” he said.
Cassiem said he began selling ice
cream in the time of Sid Going of
the All Blacks, when there was no
fencing around the Newlands rugby
“You could walk freely around
the rugby field,” said Cassiem.
A witness to most of the titanic
games at the two stadia, Cassiem
counted among his sports heroes
figures such as former cricketers
Vincent van der Byl, Clive Rice,
Eddie Barlow, Morne Morkel and
former Springbok captain Dawie de
“I’m the happiest man in the
whole world when I sell ice cream,
and without the people at Newlands
rugby and cricket, I would not have
made a success of selling ice cream.
“I would have retired already,
but people put on Facebook that
Newlands cricket and rugby will not
be the same without me,” added
Cassiem, who doesn’t know when he
will retire as he enjoys his job.
He thanked everyone who has
supported him throughout his years
of selling ice cream.