Documentary tells Gift Leremi's story

Gift Leremi starred for Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana.
Gift Leremi starred for Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana.
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

The late Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Gift Leremi's life will be relived through a documentary that is aimed at giving the public a glimpse of his life as a soccer star, a father and a caring husband.

Whispering Leremis's Tale To My Child is the brainchild of Leremi's widow Mamello, who said she wanted to tell her own story about him.

Leremi, who also played for Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana, died in a car crash in 2007 at the age of 22.

Mamello said the 60-minute doccie will also zoom in on the death of one of their two daughters, Mahlatse, who died two years after her father, when she was five.

"This is an opportunity to show everyone else who my husband truly was. Above the rest, it is to tell my daughter who her father was instead of getting different information from different people," she said, referring to their surviving 11-year-old daughter, Kelebogile.

"The death of Gift hit me hard. It wasn't nice. Two years after his death, my first-born daughter died too. The documentary will tell a story of Gift to our last-born daughter, to Kelebogile."

Mamello Leremi
Mamello Leremi

Mamello said she was inspired to tell her own story after several incidents where her daughter would come home and tell her that she met someone telling her about Leremi, the narrative often being skewed.

Director Mfanelo Ngoma said he was pleased to have worked on the documentary despite a few doubts about the contents.

Ngoma said he wished that the documentary would include scenes of Leremi's formative years when he was growing up in the 80s but unfortunately such footage was not readily available.

He said they had submitted the documentary to the SA Broadcasting Corporation, SuperSport and Kwese TV and were awaiting feedback.

One of the people featured in the documentary was Leremi's teammate and friend at Pirates, Gerald Modabi.

Modabi, 36, said he was glad that a documentary of this nature was produced to honour the late star.

Modabi said he considered the star player as his brother.

"I think the documentary covers enough information about his life. I am happy with it," he said.

Popular DJ Cleopas Monyepao said the documentary was important because "we get to tell the things that the public never sees".

"We had dual admiration for each other's talents and we were both introverts in a way but also wanted to socialise a bit to escape the introvert life. He and [late kwaito artist] Brown Dash got along more and I was the disciplined one of the three who had to crack the whip when necessary.

"We had a fight once when I found him at a club I was playing at in Rivonia [Sandton]. He said he was there because he was a fan but I was not happy because I knew he had training the following day."

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