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BRIGHT NO MORE Botswana mourns the death former Zebras coach Major David Bright

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The Botswana football fraternity is mourning the untimely death of former Zebras coach Major David Bright, who reportedly succumbed to Covid-19 related complications at the Sir Ketumile Masire Hospital in Gaborone on Monday evening.

Major Bright had been admitted at the hospital following his return from South Africa recently, according to some social media voice notes that first broke the news of him being unwell and fighting for his life at the hospital. In one of the widely shared voice notes on WhatsApp, a man claiming to be a relative of a deceased woman who had come into contact with Bright revealed that the former Premier Soccer League coach in South Africa had been in South Africa, and returned to Botswana two weeks ago already reported to have tested positive to the virus.

As social media users had already falsely pronounced Major Bright to be dead from the virus, the man in the voice note explained that it was not the coach who had passed on, but a relative of his, a woman whom he said had met Bright at the border gate and greeted each other with a handshake. The man in the voice note further says the woman, who worked at the border, and her husband, would eventually be admitted to the hospital for corona, where the woman died last week Monday. The voice note was first shared last week Wednesday, announcing the Monday death and the hospitalization of both Major Bright and the deceased woman’s husband and the latter’s child.

Botswana has over the last few days seen a surge in the number of people contracting the virus, and today, this Monday, the Presidential Task Force on Covid 19 reported 19 new deaths from corona virus over the last three days, taking the total number of deaths in the country to 124. This announcement was made moments before the death of Major Bright. This year alone, Botswana has seen about 80 deaths in the 24 days since new year’s day.

A family spokesperson of Bright would later confirm to the media over the past weekend that the coach was alive, only for him to later die this Monday evening. No official confirmation of his visit to South Africa has been made, but according to some of the social media reactions by some in South Africa, there had been a hint of him returning to the country to coach a premier league club there. Meanwhile in Botswana, Bright had reportedly just agreed terms with a local club, premiership rookies Sua Flamingoes, to take over as their head coach.

His death, coming on the backdrop of the recent death of a local gospel superstar Tebbie, has shocked many who took to social media to call on the government to impose a lockdown.

“Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, do what is the best for the country at large. A a population of 2 million is nothing when it comes to this pandemic. Lock down is the first thing to think about. Giving out statistics about the virus won’t bring solutions to this problem. Contain the virus while we still have this short time before it escalates. Our health services won’t be able to support the country,” read one of the messages, written by one Lebano Sechele on facebook.

The former army man had a bright coaching career cutting across both Botswana and South Africa where he coached at several premier league sides including Black Leopards, Bay United, Engen Santos and Polokwane City.

When he arrived in South Africa for his first coaching job at Santos, he would lose his first match 4 – 0 to Free State Stars, but would then go on to shine bright, leading the team to a 10-match unbeaten streak.  While there, he helped a number of Botswana players find jobs in the league as he signed some of them, including recruiting former Zebras goalkeeper Modiri Marumo  who would eventually become a goalkeeper coach there.

The 65-year-old Bright is well-remembered for his stint at Mogoditshane Fighters where he won back to back league titles from 1999 to 2001. He has also coached at Gaborone United, Township Rollers, Holy Ghost and was coach of the Zebras on four different occasions, the last of which was from 2017 to 2019. It is expected that his club Flamingos and the Botswana Football Association will make official statements tomorrow, Tuesday. May the soul of Major David Bright rest in peace.

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