What has happened to the good old Rapula?

26th July 2016
From me to you


By Joe-Brown Tlhaselo

Dear Okaile

Let me first extend my warmest greetings to you Bra Rapz after decades of no real contact with you. You see, I'm not the type to desert comrades who once gave me a reason to live and to smile, especially when they find themselves trapped in a corner of public abuse as I see you are. I wonder what really has happened to you to find yourself in a situation where everyone is blaming you for the prevailing circus going on at Lekidi. In fact I was shocked when on Friday I heard of the charges laid against you for bringing our football into disrepute. I think you have become a big man Bra Rapz. I have actually found myself questioning everyone if you are the same Rapula Okaile I used to watch play soccer for the great UB Kicks side that used to mesmerize us as fresh and excitable students at Mmadikolo in the early 90s. I am told you are the same, same guy that used to run the lengths of those dusty football pitches adjacent to the national stadium as you tried your best to impress us who stood and cheered from the sideline. I remember one Thabo Ntshinogang as another of the guys who also played in the team.

I faintly recall then how spectators used to tease you for always running faster than the ball, with those who knew you from Naledi Junior Secondary School's football team also attesting to your penchant for just running and running on the pitch without the desired effect most of the time. Yet you were such an entertainment, along with your teammates. At the time, you were such a modest guy, very likeable and respected by all. In fact, I think you also served in some form of a student body sports committee led by the then Minister of Sports - or perhaps you served as a minister yourself. Please remind me. At the time, you were this cool guy whose character at the time betrays everything I hear about you now. The question is: what then changed you? Are you really the kind of unlikeable and vindictive person people say you are? I have been hearing people say you acted spitefully in denying Popa the league cup for which they had already printed 'Champions' t-shirts. Why would you do that Bra Rapz? I mean, I have known Popa and Moyagoleele to enjoy healthy relationship of mutual respect over the years, not the hostile kind I hear prevails now, which many attribute to you actually.

I have tried to picture you as a hateful person but that figure has refused to form. How then could it be true that you hate Rollers so much you didn't think twice before plucking the premiership lollipop out of their mouths when they were just warming up to its sweetness? I hear they say you even ignored the laws of natural justice and denied them a hearing before you could punish them the way you did. Perhaps there is just too much hatred in football and people want to tarnish your good name. Perhaps they think you fraudulently ascended to the BPL Board chairmanship and they want to retaliate. These footballers be hateful! How dare they mention your name in the same sentence as fraud? Such a cool guy who even chaired the richer and more serious board ya that public officers' pension fund. You see, recently I was warning some other decent dude against soiling his good name ka this football nonsense - that Billy guy we pay monthly to watch repeat pictures on our television sets. I bet he can now see with you that the administration of football in this country can turn people against you. I bet he will learn through you again that the quest for power in local football - and the eventual acquisition of it - can turn individuals into something they are not. As a long time public servant, you have served this nation well, and you have earned the respect of many - you have even been drafted into some respectable boards of trustees.

Just why you then chose football beats me. It does not look like your thing, and I would advise you to leave before they tarnish your good name. Look at what they are doing now, they are plotting your downfall after misleading you with their big words. It was a trap, and you fell into it. I have actually observed that local football leaders have a penchant for setting up traps for one another, which is why every football administrator we have had has passed as a failure. It's just local football politics - it's not for the naive, and you should have just stayed away from it to preserve your good name. Look at you now, you are facing the brunt for things you do not really have a passion for. You don't do hate Bra Rapz - or at least the Rapz I know from the past. It's actually inconceivable to hear you also hate Bennett. Ao! The same Bennett we used to call 'The Diving' at UB Kicks... Oooh, BY THE WAY, you also played alongside the same Bennett Mamelodi at UB. I now remember, and you were great teammates as I recall. What came between the two of you? You see when I say local football changes people? I hear you also suspended him without the benefit of a hearing, and only after he had taken you to court did you ask him to come that hearing.

You see, football people have turned you two against each other. But for what? Who stands to gain in all these? You see what football in Botswana does to good people? And how true is it that you are leading a pack that plans to start a rival league structure to be called Botswana Super League? These newspapers sometimes!!! I hear the league will exclude Rollers and Orapa United? I take it they are just trying to discredit you as usual and bring hatred unto thee, because such a thought of a rival league is absurd if you ask me. Perhaps I am naive, but, whose football grounds would you use? Which referees? To whom would you affiliate? DJ Tapza would be the first to castigate that thing and he would make sure it becomes irrelevant.

Even Big Brother would not allow his radio mics and TV cameras to go there. So these rumour mongers should just stop using your name in this spiteful fashion. Now you have been charged and likely to be suspended from all local football activities. If this happens, Bra Rapz, would it have been worth it? This fight? Even at your club there are those I hear do not want you. I really worry for you. It must be difficult to sleep, and all because you sacrificed your life for football. But knowing you from those days, I still refuse to believe that it is you doing all these things. These people are liars. You are too much of a nice guy to be so rebellious. Unless I don't know you as much as I thought I did Bra Rapz. But don't worry my friend, haters will fall, and the truth will come out. One day.

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