matona 'a great loss'

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

Friends and relatives this week described the death of Soweto golfer, ballroom dancer and businessman, Sam "Mr Easyloo" Matona, 54, as a great loss.

Matona, of Meredale, Johannesburg, was the first black man to start a mobile toilet hire business in the townships.

Voted Sowetan's Nation Builder of the Year in 1992 for his business skills, Matona was a generous man who never forgot where he came from.

When people could not pay for his toilets, he would give them a free service.

He supplied toilets to the late Godfrey Moloi at Moloi's famous off-season games at the Mapetla, Soweto, grounds, at which professional soccer players took part.

Matona died last Thursday at Helen Joseph Hospital after undergoing surgery to amputate his right leg for the second time.

His daughter, Lerato, 32, said her father's health had deteriorated after he suffered a mild stroke on April 27 last year.

"On April 28 this year, after doctors diagnosed diabetes, his right leg was amputated. But five days later, the doctors decided to amputate the same leg again when the diabetes took a severe toll on him," said Lerato.

Matona was taken to the theatre in the morning, but later had a cardiac failure which resulted in his death on the same day.

Matona was born on December 23 1954 at White City Jabavu, Soweto.

He attended Henley and Isaacson primary schools and matriculated at Sekano Ntoane High School. The family later moved to Tshiawelo.

Matona married his childhood sweetheart, Francinah, in 1978. The couple had two children.

He worked as a sales representative for Nestlé and later started his own business as a pest controller, a venture which later led him to the Easyloo business.

Matona was a keen golfer and was a member of the Soweto Country Club and the Ambassadors Golf Club, a social club he co-founded with the late Barney Cohen, a former editor of Drum magazine and a friend, Dinky Moropane.

Papa Mnqibisa, his playing partner, said the last golf round Matona played earlier this year was in the company of Peter Mohlahlane, Humphrey Radebe, Vincent Makoti and former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni.

He is survived by his wife, Francinah, their two children, his mother, four brothers and a sister.

He will be buried tomorrow at Lenasia Cemetery at 11am. The service, at the Klip Riversberg Recreation Hall in Kibler Park, starts at 9am.