SUPPORT: Crazy soccer fans during one of the Africa Cup of Nations matches, INSET: Deceased SABC reporter Zingisile Mathiso. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
One of the most talented football radio commentators on SABC’s Umhlobo Wenene FM, Zingisile Mathiso, has died at a crucial time for the station and its listeners while Afcon is underway.
According to SABC radio broadcast schedule for Afcon, Ngxilimbela, as Mathiso was affectionately known by Umhlobo Wenene FM listeners and SABC colleagues, was earmarked to commentate on the Afcon opening game between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde but he could not because he was in hospital.
On Tuesday, a day after his death, Mathiso, according to the schedule, should have commentated on the match between Burkina Faso and Zambia.
Mathiso’s colleague, Mthuthuzeli Scott, told The New Age yesterday that he had lost a “twin brother”. Scott said their colleagues at SABC Sport had always described them as twins.
“I have worked with Mathiso for 23 years,” said Scott. “Mathiso was a people’s person. Research was one of his main attributes.
“He would rarely do a commentary on a match without the research.
“Though he had so many years working as a commentator, he has shown a sense of learning something new every day.”
Scott said Mathiso introduced the principle that all SABC commentators should help each other at difficult times.
“Hardly three months after he said that, one of our colleagues from Limpopo lost his parent. Mathiso went there to support him,” Scott said.
Mathiso will be buried in Jamestown in the Eastern Cape on February 9.
A memorial service for him is planned for today at Auckland Park, Joburg.