JOHANNESBURG – South African soccer legend Phil Masinga’s daughter, Tinyiko, broke down as she spoke of her love for her father during a memorial service at the Grace Bible Church in Pimville, Soweto on Monday.
Her brother Sifiso and sister Tatiana embraced her in a moment that poignantly told the story of a family united in pain.
“Sifiso called him Mambosh. We called him papa. Buhle called him daddy. We loved our father more than words can express, and we will always keep him in our hearts,” she said.
“Our father loved us so much, and he was not afraid to show it. He always had a big smile and excitement every time he saw us.
“Even when he was in hospital, he gave us hope that he would beat what was making him ill.
“As much as it hurts, we’re happy that he has rested from the pain that was killing him,” she said.
Masinga died a week ago.
“Our dad was such an entertaining character. There was never a dull moment when we were all together. I remember how he had a unique way of asking us if we had boyfriends in our lives.”
Like most who spoke, Tinyiko described Masinga as a loving and kind man.
“He taught us so much, and the greatest lesson he taught us was the value of humanity and love, unconditional love. He fought so many battles, but he loved without expecting anything in return.
“You once told us that when you died, you do not belong to the Masingas, but to the entire South Africa.”
This much was proven at yesterday’s memorial service as people from all over the country, most of them from the football fraternity, gathered to pay their last respects to the man who would always be remembered for scoring the goal that sealed South Africa’s first ever appearance at the Fifa World Cup finals – France 1998.