MOKONE Marabe’s dream growing up at the Ratjomose military barracks was to follow in the footsteps of his father, Teboho ‘Cobra’ Marabe, who played for the likes of Bantu, LDF as well as the national team, Likuena.
July 4, 2022
4 min read
How Marabe fulfilled his dream of following in his dad’s footsteps
Former Likuena forward, Mokone Marabe
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Little did he know that he and his younger brother, Litšepe would later become household names in Lesotho football.
The two brothers have over the years enjoyed a lot of success together, playing for both Bantu and Likuena.
“I started playing football at the tender age of six as a Standard One pupil at Ratjomose Primary School. I never looked back as I played at school and later joined the LDF development team called Rangers,” Marabe says.
“I must confess that seeing my dad’s pictures on the wall in our home in his football uniform played a major role in directing me in that path. They made me follow his footsteps and I’m very proud that I managed to live my dream.”
Marabe states that his football skills were sharpened playing primary school football in those days under a competition that was known as the ‘Blue Ribbon School tournament.
“This is where my passion for the game grew from strength to strength and all I wanted was to be in the field to play football.
“Emmanuel FC of Qoaling are famous for having shaped the careers of many footballers including Thapelo Mokhehle, Ntsane Lichaba, Bokang Sello, Daniel Jousse among a host of players that have gone to represent Likuena at international stage.
“While playing for Rangers, I caught the attention of Coach Tšeliso Sephelane, who mentored Mathula FC where they worked with Seabata Thibiri, and they later joined forces on a youth development project under the name of Emmanuel FC,” Marabe recalls.
He says around that time when he was playing for Emmanuel, he caught the sharp eye of the late Likhopo owner and coach, Bishop Molatoli, who was known for developing young talent.
In no time, young Marabe was playing for one of the most exciting youth football projects in the country.
“We used to play against Ntate Bishop’s team (may his soul rest in peace) and as we all know, he would do whatever it takes to get a young player if he felt he had potential. He talked me into joining his club and the rest as they say, is history,” he explains.
“I went to play for Likhopo, but in those years, our team was called Little Flower, but I left briefly as I was tempted by a friend that was playing for a team in Welkom, South Africa. I joined the SA club without Ntate Bish’s permission because I knew he wouldn’t approve.
“When I returned home for the holidays, he was in charge of the national Under-17 team and the next thing I was in that squad. Maybe that was his way of enticing me back in to his team, which I eventually did. I was shortly thereafter promoted to the senior team,” he says.
Marabe left Likhopo again, this time to join a more senior team that was playing in the South Africa Vodacom League, Mothupi Birds from Zeerust in the North West Province.
He played alongside former Orlando Pirates’ dribbling wizard, Thabo Rakgale.
“I remained in North West for about two years and when I returned home for the holidays, I bumped into Bantu chairman, John Leuta, who showed interest in recruiting me in his club,” Marabe says.
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“We then had a meeting with my father, who went to negotiate my official release from Likhopo as I was still their player. I joined Bantu in 2010 and it became my home until this year when I was unceremoniously released.”
Being released like that from a club he served with loyalty and dedication for 12-years tore him apart.
“I shed blood and tears for that team, and I believe I deserved better treatment from them. I don’t know why they took that decision, but it broke my heart. At the end of the day, I must accept that it’s part of the game, but I gave them my all, in every match and I was the most disciplined player on and off the field,” the forward says.
Marabe discloses that playing alongside his younger brother, Litšepe at club level and the national team is one of the things he will always cherish.
“We played together from the juniors and the only time we were not at the same club was when I went to Likhopo and he joined Matlama. We had a good understanding because we grew up playing together and it was really an honour that we managed to follow in our famous father’s footsteps,” Marabe states.
“It was an amazing experience and I loved playing alongside my brother. Playing for the national team from the Under-15 up to senior national team was very fulfilling because it’s every player’s dream to represent his country at the highest level.
“Being part of the Bantu players that delivered the club’s first ever league title in 2013 and the dominance we had in the local league over the last decade are among the highlights of my football career, which I will cherish for the rest of my life,” the striker concludes.