Lesotho footballl mourns Mefane, Matete
The football fraternity in the Mountain Kingdom is mourning the deaths of two legends of the beautiful game in Lepolesa ‘Masterpieces’ Mefane and Mahao ‘Bomber’ Matete.
The two iconic figures, who played for Matlama as well as the senior national team had continued to serve the game beyond their playing days with Matete working as a coach at club level and for the national team while Mefane was serving Matlama in an advisory role until his death.
Matete served the Lesotho Football Association as a coach for many years.
He worked with the junior and senior national team and will be remembered as the assistant coach when Likuena reached the final of COSAFA Cup in 2000, working alongside the late Monaheng ‘Doc’ Monyane, who was the head coach.
The Lesotho Football Association President Advocate Salemane joined the football fraternity in paying their respects to the two fallen legends of the game.
“On behalf of the National Executive Committee, the entire football family and on my own behalf, I wish to express our deep sorrow on the sudden demise of the two football icons. It came as a real shock to the Association when we heard the news of the passing of Mr. Mefane and Mr. Matete. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the legendary sons of the land,” LeFA President said.
“We pray from the bottom of our hearts that the Almighty Father grants their souls peace and rest. And that he also grand all ntate Mefane and Matete’s loved ones and the Lesotho Football Veterans Association (LFVA), the strength and heavenly comfort during these trying times.
“May the souls of ntate Mefane and ntate Matete rest in perfect peace and kindly accept our deepest heartfelt condolences,”
The regional football body, COSAFA also issued a statement on its social media platforms to convey its condolence to the football fraternity in the Kingdom on the loss of the two legends.
“Matete coached Lesotho for a number of years, including at the inaugural COSAFA Cup in 1997, where they lost 2-0 to Zambia in Maseru. He was still in charge the following year when they lost by the same score-line to Zimbabwe and in 2000 when they went down to Warriors as well,” the statement from COSAFA said.
“He was a stalwart defender for the national side in his playing days and a much-revered figure in Lesotho football. his brother Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete was also a national team coach in the COSAFA Cup and passed away late last year.
“Mahao also had successful stints in charge of the Lesotho junior national teams and coached his beloved Matlama too. Mefane was a star for Matlama and served the club in an advisory role following his playing days. He was 67 when he passed away.
“The COSAFA family would like to express our sincere condolences on the passing of these two giants of Lesotho Football.
LeFA Technical Director, Lehlohonolo Thotanyana said the late ‘Masterpieces’ Mefane was a gentleman on and off the field during his playing days and after hanging out his boots.
“I will remember him for the gentleman that he was during his time as a player and in retirement. We cannot forget his talents in the field of play and how he used to mesmerise his opponents playing for his beloved Matlama,” the LeFA technical Director said.
“Our football will be poorer without them both ntate Mefane and Ntate Matete as their contribution to the beautiful game in the country was very huge.”
Former Likuena captain, Tṧepo Hlojeng stated that a lot of people thought he was recruited into the senior national team in the mid-1990s by former late coach, Monaheng ‘Doc’ Monyane, when it was his assistant coach in ‘Bombe’ Matete, who selected him.
“A lot of people thought I was brought into the national team by ntate Monyane as the head coach, but it was ntate Matete as his assistant that brought me into the team,” Hlojeng explained.
“The truth is, I can’t talk about ntate ‘Bomber’ without mentioning ntate Monyane because they worked together so well and achieved so much to have helped Likuena reach the final of the COSAFA Cup in 2000, where we lost to Zimbabwe.”
He described ‘Bomber’ Matete as the man who made things happen for the team, a ‘master tactician’ while head coach ‘Doc’ Monyane was more on man management and the wellbeing of the players.
“I can say ntate ‘Bomber’ was a master tactician of the team while ntate Monyane was more on man-management, mental strength and the well being of the players, but they complimented each other so well hence the team was that successful,” the former Likuena skipper stated.
“Ntate ‘Bomber’ as very good at planning the opponents and a very strict coach who wanted players to be disciplined on and off the field of play. His understanding of the game as out of this world and it’s no wonder many of us from that team followed in their footsteps to become coaches.
“It’s sad that people of his calibre are departing this world when we need their expertise. It’s a sad loss to the game and may his soul rest in peace,” he said.
President of the Lesotho Football Veterans Association, Lebeko ‘Tycoon’ Notsi, admitted that their Association is poorer with the demise of their two members, who played a fundamental role in the formation of their organisation.
“They have left big voids in our organisation as both played a key role in it’s formation. Matete has been ill for some time, but one of his sons knew how important our Association is to his father and continued to pay subscription on his behalf,” Notsi said.
“Mefane because of his personality had been very key in helping us work with the clubs, some which initially were reluctant to work with us.
“Both the two legends will be missed and we send our sincere condolences to their families,” he said.