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Karate mourns Sensei Molapong

The Botswana Karate family was this week plunged into a somber mood following the death of one of their own, Sensei Tebogo Molapong. 

Molapong, described by many of his colleagues as an admirable fellow, passed on in the early hours of Christmas day in Molepolole.

Even though details of his death are still sketchy as police investigations continue, his uncle Dr Keoagile Molapong explained that the family suspects he could have been murdered.

Dr Molapong said the corpse bore a deep cut in the head, which could have resulted in heavy bleeding and eventually death.

For his part, Molepolole Police Station Commander Superintendent Charles Mbengwa said they received a report of a car accident that happened near Molepolole stadium of a car that had hit an electric pole. Molapong was reportedly an occupant at the time of the accident.

He said their investigations were ongoing and were awaiting postmortem to determine the nature of the injury that the deceased sustained.

Meanwhile, somber messages flooded the social media throughout the week to pay respects to their fallen hero.

African kata champion, Ofentse Bakwadi’s recollection of Molapong’s exploits dates back to 2004 when the latter trained at the Thebephatshwa Airbase.

Bakwadi said Molapong would later move to Gaborone to join the Hayashi Ha karate stable under the watchful eye of Shihan Mpho Bakwadi.

National team kumite sensation Oratile Caiphus was also short of words to describe the loss of what he described as a great friend. 

Caiphus met Molapong in 2010 when they two were selected to represent the country at the Serbia World Karate championship.

“We became close friends and shared a lot in life. He left our Kofukan stable to find a new home but that never troubled me. Our bond was not only karate but life in general,” said a tearful Caiphus. 

Thato Malunga said Molapong was one athlete of a kind who inspired her to become a champion she is today. Malunga went for a karate training programme with Molapong in Belgium. 

“He was an easy going person, friendly and very accommodating, but quite a strict individual,” she said.

Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president Sensei Tshepo Bathai took a bow for the good work that the late karateka did for the country. 

“He was an excellent athlete having represented the country at various international karate tournaments including Zone VI, Africa Karate championship, All Africa Games, World Cup and Commonwealth Karate championships”.

Bathai said he was rewarded with a Botswana National Sport Commission Elite Scholarship for his efforts. Molapong caught the eye of national team scouts and was immediately picked for national assignments forming a formidable team kata with the likes of Bakwadi and Nonofo Keokilwe.

He scooped a bronze medal at the closely contested All Africa Games in Algeria and another bronze at the 2011 All Africa Games with the senior team kata. In 2009, Molapong won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and later became Zone VI kata champion for five consecutive years. 

He has during his karate journey, represented Botswana several times across the globe in countries such as India, Serbia, Australia, Algeria and Namibia amongst others.

Molapong will be laid to rest on Saturday in Molepolole. ENDS 

Source : BOPA

Author : Baleseng Batlotleng

Location : GABORONE

Event : Obituary

Date : Dec 28 Thu,2017

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