Kaizer Chiefs founder Dr. Motaung turns 79: His biggest contributions

Kaizer Chiefs founder Dr. Motaung turns 79: His biggest contributions
Credit @BasilSelai Twitter

October 16 is a momentous day in South Africa. It is the birthday of Kaizer Chiefs founder Dr Kaizer Motaung. So, let's celebrate one of Africa's renowned sports administrators.

Kaizer Chiefs is one of the greatest football clubs in South Africa. 

They have accomplished plenty in their history, but how do you talk about the Amakhosi without mentioning their founder, Dr Motaung?

Dr Motaung was born on October 16 1944 and celebrates his 79th birthday.

He started playing football for Orlando Pirates at 16 and has gone on to do splendid things during his playing and administrative career.

In this piece, we look at some of the contributions of Dr Motaung.

The contributions to Kaizer Chiefs

Dr Motaung founded Kaizer Chiefs

kaizer chiefs salute their founder
Photo by Icon sport

Dr Motaung played for Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL, and when he returned to South Africa, he founded the club and named it after himself and his former club.

Dr Motaung founded the Kaizer Chiefs because he could not broker peace between the Orlando Pirates and a few players penalised for playing in a charity game without the club's permission.

Under Dr Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs have won several trophies, including the African Cup Winners Cup 2001.

  • Motaung played a crucial role in the establishment of the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) in 1996 with Orlando Pirates owner Irvin Khoza.
  • Despite forming the PSL, he had to wait till the 2003.04 season for Kaizer Chiefs to win its first league title.
  • Dr Motaung turned Kaizer Chiefs into the most marketable football club and is one of the wealthiest teams in South Africa.
  • He led the Amakhosi to become the most decorated club in South African football with 76 major trophies, including 12 league titles, four of which came during the PSL era.
  • Dr Motaung contributed immensely to the on-pitch success of Kaizer Chiefs, and it helped the Amakhosi attract millions of new fans over the years. 
  • Kaizer Chiefs are the most supported football team in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated support base of over 16 million supporters.

  • Dr Motaung came up with the club’s slogan of ‘Love & Peace’ – an expression of non-aggression in response to a growing wave of violence among fans of other clubs, especially when their teams were losing.
  • He helped Kaizer Chiefs to a fourth-place finish in South Africa’s first multiracial league in 1978. 
  • They were the highest placed traditionally black side, behind originally white clubs, Lusitano, Wits University and Arcadia Shepherds.
  • He brought to Kaizer Chiefs their first white player, Lucky Stylianou, a defensive midfielder. Others that followed were goalkeeper Peta Bala’c, Jimmy ‘Brixton Tower’ Joubert and Frank ‘Jingles’ Pereira.

It takes guts to turn down an offer of $1 million in 1969 to pursue a dream, but that is what Dr Motaung did.  

He followed through in setting up Kaizer Chiefs, and he is today worth over $60 million, with the Amakhosi valued at over a billion rand ($53 million).

Other ventures by Dr Motaung

what more can dr motaung do for kaizer chiefs
Credit @putcomafani8 Twitter

Dr Motaung has not let his sphere of influence stay limited to Kaizer Chiefs.

In 2006 and 2010, he was a member of the South African FIFA World Cup Bid Committees that won the bid for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2013, Motaung was bestowed the National Order of Ikhamanga Silver for Excellent Achievement in the Football Industry – one of the highest forms of government recognition in South Africa. 

We doff our hat to one of the top football administrators in Africa and the world. The sacrifice of 1970 has grown into this behemoth that has brought joy and excitement to many football fans globally.

Happy 79th birthday to Dr Kaizer Motaung.


This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).