Wed Oct 18 16:43:31 CAT 2017

Madigage really Thomas Lesenya

2012-10-29 08:36:53.0 | NGWAKO MALATJI |

Late Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage was described by speakers at his memorial service in Atteridgeville on Friday as "a poor smiler".

TROUBLED: The late Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage learnt in 2010 that he had his stepdad's name. Picture by Kevin Sutherland

We can now reveal that behind the poor smile lurked a troubled soul that longed for peace.

Madigage was stuck between loyalty to his sickly mother Pauline Madigage and honouring his ancestry by changing his surname to Lesenya.

Madigage wanted to change his name after a ritual was performed by the Lesenyas to welcome him and introduce him to their gods at a ceremony in Driekop, Ga-Sekhukhune in Limpopo earlier this year.

This after reuniting with his biological father James Lesenya. But his mother disapproved of this, allegedly because she accused Lesenya of being a deadbeat dad.

This was revealed by a family friend who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals.

The friend says Madigage told him in 2010 that "he discovered his true identity and that he wanted to change his surname.

"When I asked him what he meant by that, he said he had discovered that his real father was a Lesenya not a Madigage.

"He said what troubled him was that his mother was strongly opposed to this and he was scared that because she was a sickly person, changing his surname might aggravate her situation.

"He looked troubled because he wanted to embrace his true identity. What also bothered him was that his mother and siblings did not tell him the truth," says our mole.

Another source confirms that Madigage was a Lesenya.

"I just don't know where the Lesenyas are but Madigage was his stepfather's surname," says the source.

But Madigage's sister Mapule Hlaise dismisses as "just a rumour" claims that the former footie wanted to change his surname and that their mother disapproved of it.

"People just love spreading rumours. We don't want to entertain anything that will affect the health of my mother. She is a sickly person," she says.

Elias Lesenya confirms that Madigage was indeed a Lesenya and that the former SuperSport United assistant coach was his cousin.

"His father and my father are blood brothers. I only learnt this year from his father that Thomas was his son. After a few weeks I met him (Thomas) in Driekop, where there was a family ritual to welcome him as a Lesenya," says Elias.

Elias says Madigage's father is alive and is fit as a fiddle. Attempts to reach James drew a blank.

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