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MADLENYA – Supporters of Siphofaneni MP candidate Felix Bardenhorst feel the soccer star’s personality reminds them a lot of Gundwane Gamedze.

Gamedze, who passed on in January this year, is a former Siphofaneni Member of Parliament, who was popular with the masses. In an interview after the nominations, Banele ‘Sgidi’ Ngcamphalala said the reason they nominated Badenhorst for MP was because they saw that he had potential to bring opportunities in the constituency and influence those developments at national level. Ngcamphalala noted that the seven communities under Siphofaneni constituency were largely populated by the youth. He said most of the youth was unemployed and had nothing to do and some ended up opting for criminal activities.

It was gathered that the football player, who is also a businessman, had over the years, during his days at Manzini Wanderers, been assisting the youth, more especially those who excelled in sporting categories from the local schools and communities. “He had been supporting local tournaments with sporting equipment such as nets, soccer balls and kits, among other things,” he said. Ngcamphalala added that recently there were two young men who were assisted by the aspiring MP to secure moves to Premier Soccer League teams. The electorate noted the importance of electing people who will not turn against them once they were in Parliament. They highlighted that Felix was one of the players in the country who had a successful football career. They mentioned that their aspiring MP played in South Africa during his Jomo Cosmos days and also played in DR Congo. They highlighted that whether he played in or outside of the country; Felix never changed or discriminated against them. They stated that when he was home he blended with the community.

One of them even stated that the player would be seen in local funerals assisting with digging the grave like everyone else. “He never let fame change him,” he said. The electorate added that Badenhorst did not only assist in football as he was seen helping people with basic needs like food, among other things. “Tell me if you wouldn’t want a person of that calibre to represent you in Parliament. We want people who will not forget where they come from; who respect people and have their best interests at heart,” said another supporter. They mentioned that the way Badenhorst had been carrying himself and the respect he had for people from all walks of life was a reminder of their late MP. They said they strongly believed that the soccer player had the potential to improve the community because he had already made a notable contribution and with the title MP attached to his name, he would have access to a lot of information and opportunities that are availed by government for the youth that would improve the lives of the youth and eradicate crime. The aspiring MP, as he was filling in the forms during the nomination, said he was surprised that people were taking note of him all these years and he was humbled by the nomination. “Wow! I didn’t know that people trusted me and had faith in me,” he said.