Napo Motsoeneng loved boxing. He loved his people equally.
His death this week has left the whole community shocked and traumatised, but the work Motsoeneng, pictured, did among his people will help console them.
Mapena, or Penzo as he was affectionately known to his friends, was born in Meloding, Virginia, on 22 November 1958. He started his schooling at Petsana Primary before attending Boitekong.
He obtained a Junior Certificate at Makabelane High School in Qwa Qwa, then enrolled for a teaching diploma at the Bonamelo Teachers Training College in Qwa Qwa.
Motsoeneng was not content with only acquiring his primary teachers' certificate and decided to do his matric through correspondence. In 1977, he taught at the local Itlotliseng Primary School. Two years later he joined the Old Mutual group in Welkom as a sales representative and later worked for the South African Post Office in Virginia as a clerk. He was later promoted to postmaster at the Beatrix Gold Mine post office. His desire to start his own business saw him join the taxi industry, in which he was working at the time of his death.
He was a man of superlatively high standards, complete integrity and boundless enthusiasm. He was a staunch supporter of Moroka Swallows. He also loved boxing from a very young age and joined the Central Boxing Club while still at Boitekong.
Together with friends they founded Shepered Boxing Club. As a manager and trainer, Motsoeneng produced South African Junior Flyweight champion Godfrey Nkate, Free State provincial champion Jeffrey Nkate, and Martin Nkokoto, among others.
His accolades include mentoring Nkate to three Old Buck title defences and involvement in the restructuring of the Free State boxing after 1994.
Motsoeneng will be buried tomorrow at Merriespruit Cemetery in Virginia. The service at the Uniting Reformed Church in Meloding starts at 8am.