CMRM Honours Rugby Legends
On Sunday 6 August 2017, the Claremont Main Road Masjid (CMRM) convened a dhikr in honour of five legendry rugby legends who passed away during the months of June and July 2017; namely Yusuf ‘Joe’ Allie – 13 June, Salie “Kapoewa” Dollie –24 June, Achmat ‘Bighead’ Isaacs – 25 June, Salie ‘Lippe’ Fredericks, a former SARU captain – 6 July. CMRM also remembered Welile James “Bomza” Nkohla, a former KWARU captain who died on 23 July 2017, in a tributary booklet published in honour of these rugby legends (see below).
In addition to paying tribute to these deceased players, CMRM also acknowledged and payed tribute to rugby legends from the same era who are still alive today, namely, Yusuf (Jowa) Abrahams, Riyaadh Najaar and Themba Ludwaba, Thelo Wakefield and Francious “Kabalie” Davids. Each of these players were presented with an award trophy.
In her speech explaining the rationale behind the event, CMRM Board secretary, Jaamia Galant said the following: “we should not wait for people to die to pay tribute to them, but we should do more to acknowledge, show gratitude to, and celebrate people who have touched our lives, in their lifetime.” ” We have dedicated today to paying tribute to them, to celebrate their lives and sporting achievements and to show gratitude for the sacrifices they made to uphold the principles of non-racial sport and for the many years of sporting pleasure they provided to spectators. We are pleased to have been able to publish a tribute booklet as a remembrance and celebration of these great rugby legends.”, she said.
In his speech, Western Province Rugby Union President, Thelo Wakefield, called on CMRM to formally petition the City of Cape Town to rename the Green Point Track, the Salie Fredericks Stadium. A special guest at the event, was former Kwaru and Saru rugby legend, Temba Lubwada, from the Eastern Cape. Tata Temba called on the South African government and rugby officials to do more to recognize rugby legends who played in the non-racial South African Rugby Union (SARU) during the difficult apartheid years. SARU was an
affiliate of the anti-apartheid South African Council on Sport (SACOS), whose motto was ‘no normal sport in an abnormal society’. Many of these rugby legends could have competed on the world stage if given the opportunity, but they resisted attempts to be co-opted into white rugby structures to ‘normalise’ sport in an apartheid state. CMRM was privileged to honour and display gratitude for the valued contribution of these rugby legends to non-racialism in South African sport.