Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
RADIO personality and Highlanders FC life member, Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda, has launched an online crowdfunding initiative set to raise at least US$6 101 to help ease Bosso’s financial burden.
Sibanda, who has in the past successfully spearheaded a number of online humanitarian crowdfunding initiatives, said the funds they will raise for Highlanders will assist the club to purchase fuel when travelling for away games, food and camping for home matches.
By mid-morning yesterday, US$477 had been raised.
Of late, Highlanders have not been camping for home games owing to financial constraints.
This has been blamed for the players’ poor performances, as some of them are alleged to frequent nightspots on the eve of matches.
Bosso have also resorted to awkward travelling arrangements for some of their away games, with the latest episode being a fortnight ago when they left for Triangle after 3PM, arriving at their base at around 10PM for a match on the following day.
Appealing to Highlanders’ members “all over the world”, Sibanda called for unity of purpose and said it’s time to save Bosso from demise.
“We have spoken, complained and ranted seeing our beloved club declining. Pointing fingers and the blame game has always been the order of the day and we can’t continue this way,” said Sibanda.
“It looks like nothing is changing at the club; it’s time to rise, put our heads together and help the club in its fight for survival. We have a board which is divided, they interfere too much with the daily business of the club causing chaos within the executive. Chairman (Kenneth) Mhlophe is under immense pressure and needs a full team to work with. Board should step aside and stop interference. Let the executive committee do their job. I call for unity among all stakeholders.
“It is hard to find institutions that define a community. I mean those institutions that eclipse their core purpose or function and become a part of the fabric of the community they serve.
“These institutions are often treasured and nurtured by the communities that love and cherish them. Highlanders FC has always been supported and loved by many people in all corners of our great nation, hence it’s called iteam yezwe lonke. It can’t perish on our watch,” he said.
Sibanda said Bosso defines its supporters. When they win, they beam with pride and when they lose, it pierces supporters’ hearts.
“Bad decisions and mismanagement has left us in a precarious position that could cause the absolute demise of our beloved club.
Our club is in need of us to take the initiative and formulate a funding programme independent of the club’s structures. This is vital so that we can raise the necessary funding for fuel, food and accommodation for our boys.
“As we speak they are struggling to attend scheduled fixtures as the club’s finances are in shambles. We can’t allow such a sentimental and definitive institution to fold and cease to exist.”
In October last year, Nodumo Nyathi, chairman for Highlanders’ South Africa Chapter, launched an ambitious crowd-funding initiative aimed at raising about R30 million to clear the Highlanders’ debt which ran under the “R30 challenge” banner. Highlanders’ treasurer Donald Ndebele said: “We appreciate efforts made by our members to help the club.
“We don’t have problems with fundraising initiatives for Highlanders as long as there are assurances that the funds raised will not be abused”. – @ZililoR