Kaizer Motaung reflects on legacy as AmaKhosi turns 50

The club was founded on 7 January 1970 shortly after the return of Kaizer 'Chincha Guluva' Motaung from the United States.

Kaizer Motaung. Picture: @KaizerChiefs/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - One of the most iconic football brands in South Africa football, Kaizer Chiefs, is turning 50 today.

The club was founded on 7 January 1970 shortly after the return of Kaizer "Chincha Guluva" Motaung from the United States, at the end of his tenure with the Atlanta Chiefs of the North American Soccer League.

Motaung chose the name for the club by combining his own first name with the Atlanta Chiefs to create the name of Kaizer Chiefs.

“Obviously one feels a lot of nostalgia as you look back at where you come from and at the journey that has unfolded over so many years,” Motaung – who continues to serve as the club’s chairman – told the club's website.

“There are many stories to tell and I am very grateful that I am alive, and that God spared me, to see our dream come true. When we started, a lot of people thought this is one of those passing things that will fall by the wayside.

"There were critics and skeptics who did not believe we were serious. When I look back, I feel very proud and fulfilled. At least we did not disappoint so many people and so many families who believed in us and shared our dreams. We’ve made so many people happy, and that is what is so important. The path we took was always meant to ensure we take people along the way with us.”

Reflecting on the club’s half-century of existence, Motaung has praised all the people that had represented the mighty AmaKhosi.

“It is important to recognise the role they played. We hope that those who take the baton from us will be able to continue the journey in the same manner we did and even better than we have done," he said.

"I want to thank all those who were part of the journey, especially the players who have represented Kaizer Chiefs on the field of play, who helped to create this history.

"Those players who started with us, those who joined and those who continue the journey, who have the responsibility to ensure that as much as they were standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before them, that those playing today will also be seen in the same light as those who will follow them.”

In the 50 years since their launch, Chiefs have won numerous titles, including four league titles, a record 15 Top 8/ MTN8 trophies, and the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 2001.

Chiefs have several initiatives planned for their 50th birthday, starting with a pilgrimage to a house at Sentho Street in Phefeni, Soweto, which was home to Motaung when he first started the club.

On Wednesday night, they will play Highlands Park in an Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium, where along with giving fans free tickets for the clash, they will don their new black kit, which was specially commissioned for 2020 and the celebration of their 50 years of existence.