MAUN, Botswana, July 2020/ — Football players are generally mischievous, presumably for their talents that attract a throng of fans courtesy of their bling lifestyle. Their big six figure salaries also act as a prime catalyst to partying big, groupies and all the wicked fun vibes one can think of under the sun.
Locally, one such player who was always ahead of his time is former Gaborone United (GU) captain, Chandy Moruti – born and raised in Gaborone but originally from Digawana has always been ready to conquer it all.
During his heydays, Chandy was a naughty player and talented also. He would arrive and saunter into training later than other players in his BMW whilst his peers used public transport to reach their training grounds. By the way, who drove a sleek BMW in the early 2000s as a footballer? This just shows the influence the pint-sized captain possessed back in the days, a mettle he has carried into his future.
Chandy played for the ‘money machine’ – a moniker for GU, from 1990 to 2000 but had to relocate to London, UK due to work commitments where he also studied at City and Islington College. A leaf from Chandy’s bespoke book is that despite his wayward youthful behaviour, he always had his eyes on the ball, mixing his pleasurable football life by securing a good education qualification.
Narrating his past days, Chandy says at times he would even laugh at his coach’s instructions if he felt they were against the club’s ritual. That’s the nature of football players, how does a coach relay instructions to a player who drives when he the coach comes to the field having walked almost 5kms.
However, in his retirement, Moruti is miles above his former lifestyle as he eyes Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) additional member post as Botswana’s football governing body prepares to head to the polls in early August.
In a candid interview with Botswana Unplugged in Maun recently, Moruti revisited all his golden olden memories.
As a keen and sharp-eyed football fanatic, Chandy thinks football has dismally degenerated hence him expressing interest in the BFA post where he wants to save the situation from its current squalor .
“I honestly think our football level has dropped a little, I think this is mostly due to lack of interest from most of the young generation, I feel we could do better in youth football especially at school level, we need to bring back the days where premier league teams hunted for players still at secondary schools, fierce regional rivalry of secondary schools competitions should be reignited. This model encouraged young players and for the federation that’s what grassroots development is all about,” said Moruti.
An engineer by profession, Moruti ventured into various business opportunities in his hometown of Maun. As imagined, Maun is Botswana’s gateway into the Okavango delta, and the soft spoken Moruti has both a fully-fledged tourism and telecommunications businesses.
“One has to diversify, I’m into the tourism business full time as Managing Director at Gateway Outsource, although I’m also involved with telecommunications as a Managing Partner at Telnet Solutions. Currently we employ six full time employees, with additional 4 to 6 youth on casual basis every weekend.”
His desire to stand for BFA elections is catapulted by his passion for football. Maun continues to receive sports stars who come for holiday vacations and Botswana misses a lot in terms of partnerships. Among sports stars that came include Sami Khedira (footballer), Maria Sharapova (tennis), Mesut Ozil (football) to name but a few. For Moruti, he thinks such international talents will be open to invest into academies and coaching clinics locally as their long term investment also because every player looks beyond their playing days.
“As a footballer all my life and my passion with tourism I realised we as a country are missing out a lot on sports tourism, we need to move from the mindset of sports as for recreation. Sports is a huge business and we should move into that direction, that’s why I’m standing for a BFA NEC Position, I feel being in the Tourism Industry and also a former footballer if elected I’m better placed to add value and give direction more so I’m based in the rich tourism area of Nhabe.”
Moruti’s thriving multi-million Pula tourism business started from his own savings before getting help from CEDA. He has been in business since 2010.
“I have invested well over P2 million with the help of CEDA when we wanted to expand over the years to get where we are, it was not an overnight thing, there were challenges along the way as you know the river went dry for sometime but we still stuck on with the hope that things will turn around and boy did they and it looks real good. I purchased my first boat around 2010 which is a 10-seater, started off by inviting friends to have fun in Maun, by then I was involved in the Rural Telecoms Nteletsa 2 Project as Project Manager, the idea hit me then when more and more friends wanted to visit and tour, I registered a Company Chandy’s Investments t/a Gateway Outsource and then got another 20 seater Boat but still felt we needed more till we decided to invest on a Bigger 50 seater Boat & another 20 seater.
We also have 2x Game Viewing Vehicles & 2 4×4 Rental Land rovers plus Camping Equipment for Mobile Camping around the Country various Tourism or Private events. All these and of other Batswana doing similar business can be a bait to all international sports persons and we create a thriving unique sports-tourism”, said Moruti.