I write to you this week welcoming you to the City of Kings and Queens from this foreign land which was once your work station just a couple of months ago.
This letter is not meant to open memories of how the soccer loving people from this mountainous kingdom were very sceptical upon your appointment, neither do I wish to remind you how the Eswatini Football Association granted you lengthy paid leave to finish off your contract with them.
I equally do not want to explain what had made them sceptical about your appointment just because I think you know they had just come from one of their very rare peak success moments under their own son now Sports Minister and Member of Parliament Hon. Harries Madze Bulunga because I know that not even the esteemed Jose Mourinho would have been able to buy those hearts.
Neither do I wish to let you know that many of them had read reports of your Uefa Coaching Badge debacle in Hungary.
I also do not wish to remind you how we sports journalists were always critical during some of those post Sihlangu match press conferences in which your emotions were stalked, temperatures raised and in some you almost cried while in some we almost nerve wrecked you to swearing — find room in your heart to forgive us.
One remembers very vividly how your surname was transformed from De Jongh to De Joke in Eswatini media as some called you a fully paid football tourist and I guess you have since forgiven them.
All the above I believe wherever you have gone including Kenya and Rwanda similar scepticism followed you thus I believe your heart, your soul and your body has developed the strongest shield against all such storms of scepticism and believe the Highlanders one will not be any bigger than the past.
Perhaps to let you know the storms in Eswatini you faced even led me to dedicate both ems and ens in this very publication on 21 July 2017 in my column headlined “Is this what we wanted for the Warriors?”
Without wasting much ens and ems let me get straight to my point.
Based on published stories and your rather beautiful curriculum vitae already scepticism has been building since the day it inconspicuously leaked you were headed to our heavily success-hungry Highlanders Football Club.
However, there is a section that has remained hopeful that you will turn the sleeping soccer giant’s corner and wake them up from the poor results slumber and turn them into that marauding giant and it is this pocket of faith that I urge you not to disappoint when you eventually lead the team.
I don’t want to say there is anger among the club followers but rather believe it is a deep hunger and thirst for success which has seen the league title evading the club, in some seasons agonisingly close, since the last one won by Methembe Ndlovu in 2006.
This author believes you will make them happy given your concerted efforts to join this club with your proxy or is it manager Austin Jay Jay Okocha having emailed through your curriculum vitae in November 2014 just after the club had lost Zambian Kelvin Kaindu.
Here you make us happy with your results and we make you happy by filling up the stadium and the more we “forget our own being” at the stand we call Soweto — just maybe we can invite you to join us as you await your work permit.
Lastly as I wish you a fun-filled stay in our country I wish to extend my invitation, as tourism is probably one of your hobbies, to visit the Victoria Falls which is listed as one of the world’s seven wonders, Hwange National Park and many more tourism spots.
Thanking you in advance for the positive results that are yet to come.