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MBABANE – Being a Mbabane Highlanders person generally means you cannot just find yourself working for Mbabane Swallows and get accepted in no time.

For coach Thabo ‘Koki’ Vilakati, it has taken two successful years to feel at home in the red and white giants and all thanks to the club’s deceased acting CEO Sibusiso Manana and of course the Chairman Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze, who kept his faith in him when pulling the trigger looked easier at some point last season.

Relating his story in the morning, Vilakati only uttered less than six words and started to lose it and when he tried to continue, lost it completely and broke into tears. As he clearly could not speak out, Royal Leopard PRO Frank Hurube and Swallows General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane came to comfort him.

He took his time, held his breath and then continued.
“I have two years at Swallows but Manana taught me so much. He was the person who would call me to order whenever anything had not gone right and even remind of who he was to me.

“Coming from a rival team I didn’t expect it to be like this here but I have been warmly accepted and it’s all his work,” Vilakati said with signs of tears still filling his eyes.

He said he and the players would always miss Manana for all his courage and dedication to get things done for the progress of Swallows. Team captain Tony ‘TT’ Tsabedze, who spoke for the players, said they ‘lost a father’.

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