Likuena Captain Opens Up About His Football Journey
A born leader, a pillar of strength, these are some of the words used to describe Likuena-captain Basia Makepe. The test of his natural ability was thrust upon him when he was made captain of a High School soccer team. The leadership capabilities followed him throughout his career having captained every team he has played for since coming through the ranks at now defunct Joy FC.
LeFA: Where did it all start for you?
BM: I started off playing soccer barefoot in the streets in Hlotse and my first team as a young boy was Hlotse LMPS. I played there until I joined the senior team of Joy FC and also played for my school team at St Saviours High School. I could play as a goalkeeper as well, but decided to focus on my abilities as an outfield player because things were looking good for me at Joy. This is where I got my big breakthrough before making a big move to Lioli in 2013, where I won a lot of trophies. I left for LMPS during the 2017/18 season.
LeFA: Was it always your dream to make it big as a soccer player?
BM: Yes, it was always my ambition to play football at the highest level and succeed. I lost both my parents at a young age and I had that hunger to make it big and be able to provide for my family.
LeFA: You have captained every team you have played for including the National team. Are you a natural born leader?
BM: I believe we are all born equal. It all goes down to how we approach life and deal with the challenges.
LeFA: What has it been like captaining your country. It started with the Under-20 side (Makoanyane XI) before the senior team?
BM: It’s been an honour and a privilege to captain my country, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. However, I believe my task was made easier by the fact that majority of the players in the team played together from the Under-20 side. I also played with some of them at club level and I think we all understand what is expected from us when we report for camp with the national team.
LeFA: Who was your favourite player growing up?
BM: I loved former Chelsea captain-John Terry and Thabiso “Romario” Ramosebetsi, who played for Linare. They made playing football look easy and their game was all about the basics.
LeFA: You have come up against some of the best forwards in the continent. Who was your toughest opponent?BM: It has to be Jonathan Patriopa of Burkina Faso. He was unpredictable. Here at home, I will go for former Matlama and LCS forward-Lawrence Molengoane.
LeFA: What do you want to achieve before retiring?
BM: Win more silverware and also qualify for a major tournament with the national team.
LeFA: Which matches stand out as your best at club level and with the national team?
BM: At club level, it has to be my debut for Lioli, where I scored a hat-trick against Mpharane Celtic. For the national team, I think the game against Malawi at the 2016 COSAFA Cup. They were favourites to win the group, but we beat them 1-0 to finish at the top and qualify for the quarterfinals
LeFA: Playing in Africa can be very intimidating. Do you remember any match where you had goosebumps before kick-off?
BM: Yes, it was against Burkina Faso. They had a very good team and were also doing well in tournaments like the Africa Cup of Nations. It was in my early days with Likuena.
LeFA: Do you have ambitions to go into coaching when you retire?
BM: I cannot say at this stage, but time will tell.
LeFA: It’s been over a month without football due to the Coronavirus. Surely you miss being in the field playing?
BM: I miss playing a lot and we are all hopeful that we will be back in the field playing soon, but for now we should all abide by the lockdown guidelines. It’s important that we stay at home and be safe.
LeFA: Thank you for your time skipper.
BM: It’s a pleasure, sir.
- Fact File Basia Makepe
- Current Club: LMPS
- Position: Defender
- Former Clubs: Joy FC, Lioli FC
- Nickname: Russia
- International Caps: 41
- National Team Debut: Lesotho v Swaziland (2012)
- Honours: League Championship (x2), MGC Top8, COSAFA Bronze Medal,
- LNIG Top8 winner (x2), Independence To4 winner,