GABORONE, Botswana – January 26 / — The Botswana Football Association (BFA), football community and stakeholders are reeling in shock and mourning the death of Major Bright who passed away on Monday evening after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 recently.
The 64-year-old football manager, popularly known as Fakude has had an illustrious coaching career over the years and was considered to be one of Botswana’s most successful coaches.
Born on June 13, 1956, Major Bright is a retired Botswana Defence Force (BDF) member, who during his 13-year spell with Mogoditshane Fighters, led the team to three consecutive Botswana Premier League (BPL) titles between 1999 and 2001.
The remarkable and unassuming coach has had a positive football career both in and outside the country, having also coached in South Africa for clubs such as Engen Santos, Bay United, Royal Eagles and Black Leopards, whilst locally he guided the likes of Mogoditshane Fighters, BDF XI, Township Rollers, Gaborone United, Holy Ghost, Morupule Wanderers and Sua Flamingoes.
His spell with the Botswana senior national team, The Zebras ran between the years of 1997-98, 1999, 2000, until 2017-2019. He was also remarkable with the national Under-23 men’s team, which nearly qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The crop of the squad further plied their trade internationally, and these include Dirang Moloi, Phenyo Mongala, Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Moemedi Moatlhaping and Noah Maposa amongst others.
“Shedding tears when someone dies is normal, but I think more people than normal are shedding tears over this, and I think they’re shedding more than normal. I think that’s just because of the way Major Bright lived his life, so positive, so influential, and just doing things the right way even when faced with some of the most long odds imaginable,” said Maclean Letshwiti, BFA President.
Major Bright left his mark on the game. A former head national coach, Major Bright helped some players start their journey into the professionals.
“What a man! Father to many who touched a lot of lives. He was tough as a nut even in his final days. I know he would never have wanted anybody to feel sorry for him. He was a true soldier who died with his boots on. We will meet on the other side. Rest, rest Zombie,” said Masego Ntshingane, BFA VP2.
His eldest son, Mogomotsi Bright said, “You have done your part dad. I will celebrate you for a job well done. You did what God sent you to do. You served the nation wholeheartedly. In the army you trained soldiers and you helped in the development of Botswana football. Go and rest with other legends, the likes of Maradona, the Jonas Gwangwas, your friend Oupa Hugh Masekela and others. Amandla Fakude Amandla, Republic Madala, my kind David, I learnt a lot from you.”
After Bright’s passing Monday evening, Mogomotsi said the family continue to receive an outpouring of support. For him, that goes to show the legacy that Bright will leave behind. “He was one of the greatest people you’ll ever meet,” said the young Bright.