Mogamat Cassiem, who celebrates 55 years of selling ice cream to sport fans in the two world-renowned rugby and cricket stadiums in Newlands, says due to public demand, he can not yet retire. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)
Mogamat Cassiem, who celebrates 55 years of selling ice cream to sport fans in the two world-renowned rugby and cricket stadiums in Newlands, says due to public demand, he can not yet retire. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

Legendary Newlands stadium ice cream seller recalls happiest night in 55 years

By Raphael Wolf Time of article published Jan 7, 2020

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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

stadium. 

“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

Villiers. 

“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.

Cape Times

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