JOHANNESBURG – Veteran sports broadcaster Cebo Manyaapelo has died aged 50, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced on Wednesday.
Manyaapelo’s voice became synonymous with local football with his Setswana commentary skills a household feature for those listening or watching the beautiful game via the SABC.
The public broadcaster said he will be remembered for his immense contribution at the public broadcaster as the former Motsweding FM’s breakfast host for the programme ‘Re tla dula re thabile’ in 1998.
“The country has lost a very great man in Cebo Manyaapelo. His work will continue to bring us great insight and understanding of the world of sport for decades to come,” the SABC said in a statement.
“Manyaapelo’s talent was not only confined to South Africa, but he represented the SABC beyond the borders of South Africa where his skills were equally appreciated.
“His meaningful contribution to the SABC will remain and continue to inspire all who knew him in his personal and professional space. He will be deeply missed and may his soul rest in peace.”
Manyaapelo worked on big special events where SABC was involved, like the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and 2010 as well as the AFCON tournament in 2013 and 2015.
His colleagues took to Twitter to express sadness at his untimely death.
South Africa has today lost a broadcasting legend, a great man & a blessing to the nation. Cebo Manyaapelo was my colleague, my friend & in many ways, my mentor. He taught me about more than just football or commentary. He taught me about life...— Duane Dell'Oca (@no1commentator) November 22, 2017
The word Legendary doesn't even begin to express the contribution and impact made by the great Cebo Manyaapelo, football commentary will not be the same without and you will not be forgotten #RIPbraCC pic.twitter.com/Aq06xlnayN— Thomas Mlambo (@thomasmlambo) November 22, 2017
RIP Mr Cebo Manyaapelo. Retla dula re thabile ka nako tsotlhe. We've learnt a lot from you and we'll remember you with: Football has no therefore pic.twitter.com/xg6Jk1kvjM— Mathews_mpete (@MathewsMpete) November 22, 2017
You loved Sport— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) November 22, 2017
You dedicated ur life to it
You were extremely talented
You influenced so many people
You were a 100% true broadcaster
You will NEVER be forgotten
You gave the Airwaves so much life!! Thank u. Go well baba.#RipCebo pic.twitter.com/zp4xX3tjf5
Details of the memorial and funeral services would be announced in due course, the broadcaster said.