Happy Jele signs an autograph for the team number one supporter known as Mgijimi. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko
Happy Jele signs an autograph for the team number one supporter known as Mgijimi. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Mgijimi's infectious energy will be missed in football

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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DURBAN – What will Orlando Pirates be without Mgijimi?

The man dedicated his whole life to the Buccaneers. If you are just wondering who ‘Mgijimi’ is, I'm referring to the late Pirates die-hard supporter, Mandla Sindane, affectionately known as Mgijimi.

The name ‘Mgijimi’ came from the famous character from Isibaya which Sindane reinvented and brought to football, more specifically his team Orlando Pirates.

His brother, David Sindane confirmed that Mandla passed away on Tuesday and will be laid to rest on Sunday.

"On Monday he stated that he was not feeling well. After that he left the house to go in to his place. We went there the next day and knock but our calls went unanswered. We were forced to break in, where we found him dead.”

“It was really sad and painful. The doctor said it was due to heart failure.”

“Mandla will be laid to rest on Sunday at Witbank Extension 11. The service will start at 9am and we will head to the cemetery at 11am. There will also be a memorial service," said Sindane.

Mgijimi, who lived in Witbank, Mpumalanga, was 43 years old and leaves behind five children. He hardly missed an Orlando Pirates match and will be missed as he brought life in to the beautiful game.

"Mandla loved his football, especially his team Orlando Pirates. Even before he became famous as one of the prominent fans for Pirates, he was attending football matches regularly," his brother added.

“His sudden death caught all of us by surprise. What a passionate character Mandla was. Win or lose, he was always at the stadium cheering for the Buccaneers.”

"He was so full of energy and even if you were not supporting Pirates, he will make you support Pirates. We didn't know that Mandla was so big. He would joke and tell us that: “You guys don't take me serious, but I'm big.”

We would say: “No, Mandla please don't start.”

I can now see that what he was joking about is true." Sindane said.


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