By Samuel Morewabone
Former BDF XI and Polokwane City goalkeeper Modiri Marumo has become the first Motswana athlete to have his own personalised football equipment as he recently launched his goalkeeping gloves brand named after his last name, Marumo.
Marumo, who is now employed by Jwaneng Galaxy as their goalkeeper coach after leaving Polokwane City two years ago, told Killer Pass that he was urged by lack of interest by athletes to establish their own sports brands especially protective clothing like gloves, shin pads, boots and he found the need to take it upon himself to set an example. It however took ‘Carlos’ close to five years to see his dream come alive after he thought of abandoning it due to failure to land a prominent manufacturer.
“I had sought help from people who manufactured sports equipment while I was still in South Africa goalkeeper coaching Polokwane City but they refused to aid me in manufacturing my own. They only wanted me to be their ambassador in Botswana but that was not what I wanted and I nearly gave up.
During last year’s COSAFA senior men challenge, Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chikova, whom I coached at Polokwane City, and his country used the same hotel as us and he had gloves specifically tailored for him to use at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) this year and that is when I seized the opportunity to establish my dream,” explained Marumo in an interview. He further explained that the manufacturers sent the samples while he was still with Chikova and there were extra pairs which were not branded. He said he then contacted the manufacturers and they were more than happy to assist him. The 43 year old, who was part of the Zebras that qualified for the AFCON 2012 and remains the only player to feature in all the three games, added that another reason for his historic feat was because goalkeeper equipment are often neglected in the local game, like in most lower division games, you would usually find a goal minder playing without gloves and protective clothing.
He also said he wants to in future manufacture other goalkeeping equipment like bandages, knee and shoulder caps to broaden his array of equipment.
These gloves, the former Haras El Hodood player in Egypt said, are made of latex which is commonly used on turfs but will in due course manufacture ones made of latex grip which is suitable for hard ground to cater for lower regions, BISA and social clubs. Although Marumo has not yet earmarked anyone to be his brand’s ambassador, he said right now he just ordered samples to check the reception of the brand and in future and after a proper launch he will call on former goalkeepers to get their reviews and also identify some ambassadors. As much as funds are not adequate for one to establish such a dream and also Batswana being afraid of taking risks, Marumo advised athletes, both active and retired, to learn to take risks and to be in order to achieve greater goals like he also did with the gloves and earlier in his career.
“I took a risk by leaving my permanent and pensionable job at the BDF to go and play in Egypt, exploring the unknown territories in order to chase my dream. After leaving Egypt, I went to South Africa and was patient until I was Polokwane City’s number 1.
Even with this momentous project, I am taking a risk because I did not know how the football world will react to my product but I manufactured the gloves anyway,” concluded ‘Carlos’.
Furthermore, Marumo’s former teammate Khumo Motlhabane lauded his former captain saying it is a good move as athletes need to do things for themselves and their way.
“Hopefully, he (Marumo) will get it right and use his legacy in South Africa to penetrate the outside market. Batswana may support him but it will be best for him to also think abroad,” said Motlhabane. At the moment, the gloves are available by order from Marumo at P800 each on +267 72735964 and 0027780129977 or through his social media pages and he is also still in talks to sell them to other shops which sell soccer equipment for the shops to resell them. /KP
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