PREMIER league giants Bantu will on Saturday host their annual gala dinner at AVANI Maseru Hotel with the aim of raising funds for the team.
According to Bantu Communications and Marketing Manager, Motlatsi Mofokeng, the event was also meant to raise the profile of the club. He said the guests of honour at the gala dinner would be three actors from the popular South African Broadcasting Corporation soapie Muvhango.
The trio are Sindi Dlathu, popularly known as Thandaza, Dingaan Mokebe known as James Motsamai and Palo Mokoailane who plays the role of Pheko on the soapie.
“Having such popular names at the event brings a different dimension to the event and also gives it a big boost,” said Mofokeng.
“Some people will want to attend the event because they want to see the television stars and that’s the reason we decided to bring special guests at our gala dinners.”
The 2014 edition of the dinner was graced by South African national team captain Itumeleng Khune and his Kaizer Chiefs teammates George Maluleka and George Lebese.
He said the club needed to raise funds to meet its operational obligations such as buying new players and paying staff.
A Matšo Matebele last month appointed former South African international Tsatsi James Madidilane as the club’s coach and former Sundawana mentor Bob Mafoso as his assistant on one-year performance-based contracts.
This was after Bantu’s lacklustre campaign saw them sack three coaches and finish last season in a disappointing seventh position and winning only one trophy.
“We now have a coach from South Africa, and that means the club will need a bigger budget than before for the new season to achieve its goals,” Mofokeng said.
“The team also did not perform as expected so there is a lot of pressure to ensure we start the new season well. The gala dinner has proved to be an important way of helping the team deal with some of its financial challenges.”
He said the Mafeteng-based side was working towards reinforcing the squad in preparation for the new campaign.
“We have been hard at work in assisting the technical team acquire the players they need to succeed in the new season,” said Mofokeng.
“The acquisitions are at an advanced stage as we speak, and I believe we will be able to make some announcements next week.”
A Matšo Matebele, he said, would not repeat the mistake of leaving the signing of new players until the beginning of the season.
“It is important to make the signings as soon as possible. We now believe that our poor performances during the 2015/16 campaign were partly because we bought new players very late during the transfer period,” he said.