Every story has a beginning and for Amakhosi it all started in the late 1960s and the club became a powerhouse of South African football.
Founded in 1970, Kaizer Chiefs is South Africa’s most popular football club and among the biggest sports brands.
The club was formed following a dispute at one of the country’s most historic clubs, Orlando Pirates, which led to the expulsion of team manager Ewert Nene and three players, Thomas ‘Zero’Johnson, Ratha Mogoatlheng, Edward’ Msomi ‘Khoza.
Johnson, Mogoatlheng, and Khoza had traveled to South Africa’s neighboring country Botswana, where they had played football without permission from the Pirates leadership in 1969.
The trio had received an invitation to play for one of Botswana’s biggest clubs, Gaborone United, in exhibition matches, and their dismissal from the Pirates led to the formation of a club that became a football powerhouse. South African.
On his return from the United States of America, where he played for the Atlanta Chiefs, former Pirates forward Kaizer Motaung attempted to resolve the deadlock at a club where he began his career at age 16 years old.
However, Motaung’s best efforts proved unsuccessful and he decided to work with his close friends and former Pirates officials Nene, Gilbert Sekgabi, China Ngema and Clarence Mlokoti to form a new club in the late 1969s.
The club was named Kaizer XI after Motaung, who brought glamor and international experience to the United States where he was voted the North American Football League (NASL) Rookie of the Year (NASL) in 1969.
The newly formed team have played many friendly matches having recruited players such as Joseph Setlhodi, Pule Ntsoelengoe, Jackie Masike, Vincent Julius and Eliakim Khumalo (the father of Doctor Khumalo).
On January 7, 1970, Motaung officially created the club by combining his own first name with his club, Atlanta Chiefs to create the name Kaizer Chiefs at his childhood home in Phefeni ‚Orlando West in South Africa’s largest township. , Soweto.
The Chiefs were given the nickname Phefeni Glamor Boys by club supporters because Motaung made sure his players dressed well to match the professional image of the club.
In addition, the Phefeni Glamor Boys adopted the colors black and gold, and a badge inspired by those of the Chiefs of Atlanta where Motaung spent four successful years as one of the most influential players on the team. .
With their badge depicting a Native American chief, the Soweto outfit is also nicknamed Amakhosi, which means “Lords” or “Chiefs” in isiZulu, which is the most widely spoken language in South Africa.
Nicknamed Chincha Guluva during his playing years as an immensely talented left-handed player, Motaung turned down an offer of $ 1 million (R14 million at exchange rate in 2021) to fulfill his dream of owning a football club.
“In 1969, he turned down $ 1 million to stay in the United States in order to fulfill his dream of forming his own club. He started the Kaizer’s XI and they played their first game on September 20, 1969,” we can say read on the Chiefs official website.
Known for his great administrative prowess and business acumen, Motaung has made Amakhosi the most marketable football club in South Africa and he is among the richest teams in the country.
World class facilities
Amakhosi’s head office is located at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, south of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and includes a playground complex, offices, training facilities, a retail and a world class gym.
PSL TS Galaxy club president Tim Sukazi said the chefs were worth 1 billion rand ($ 70.6 million) in an interview with the Association of South African Football Journalists in September. 2020.
“There is no way you can buy Kaizer Chiefs for less than R 1 billion. You have to look at what’s at the club. They have a Vodacom sponsorship and maybe they spend R75million [$5 million] or R80 million [$5,6 milion], alone, ”Sukazi said.
“Then there is Toyota and all the rest [of the sponsors]. “It’s a well decorated club from a sponsorship standpoint, which has monetary value. Before you wake up, their sponsorships are said to be in the order of Rand 150 million. [$10,6 million] or so.
“And then there are other things like their player values, their goodwill, he has a rich history and that will count in the pricing model.”
Amakhosi is the most decorated club in South African football, having won 76 major trophies, including 12 league titles, including four at the time of PSL, and the 2001 Caf African Cup Winners’ Cup.
Success on the pitch has helped the Glamor Boys attract millions of new fans over the years and they are the most supported soccer team in Sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated support base of over 16 million supporters.
While the Soweto Derby game starring the Chiefs and their rivals, the Pirates, is one of the biggest and most passionately supported football derbies in the world and their meetings still attract a huge fan base.
In addition, Amakhosi is also an internationally renowned brand with an award-winning English music group, Kaiser Chiefs having been named after the Soweto giants – the former club of longtime former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe. .
The Chiefs are definitely a pioneer in South African football, some 51 years after the club was formed.