Whenever Kaizer Chiefs’ supporters reminisce about ‘operation vat allas’, that is the season which the team won every cup competition that was on offer back in 2001. The name Putco Mafani will forever be mentioned, not only because he was the one who coined the term or was entertaining the crowds with his kwasa-kwasa dance, but because he made the supporters see greatness in themselves by being part of the Kaizer Chiefs family.
And that was why Mputumi (yes that is Putco’s real name) Mafani is currently one of the most sought-after master of ceremony/programme director, motivational speaker and a role model to different generations across all the race groups; his ability to trigger people to see greatness in themselves and others.
In The Price And Prize of Greatness, Putco not only to motivate young and old people, but he demands of them to rise up against their defects in order to see and value the greatest gifts and talents in the self.
He does successfully by taking the readers through his own excruciating personal journey of having to live his life without his father, discouraging poor material conditions at home, failed first marriage, being in solitary confinement during the dying days of apartheid and when his abilities were being doubted on the basis of his ethnicity during his start at Kaizer Chiefs.
However, and this is the part where this book is destined to change the lives of many people who are facing similar or even worse predicaments, Putco managed to rise up above all these challenges to become not only one of the most recognized faces on television in South Africa, but one of the loved football public relations officer since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1996.
The authenticity of Putco’s voice forces the reader to see their own story in his story. I found myself appreciating his never-give-up attitude towards life, which is framed around his religious belief system which shines through on every page in the book.
Every turn of the page will make a reader see that it is possible to follow and live your dreams no matter your family background, upbringing and social settings. And this where the title of the book, which I must add that one will only understand it once they have perused through the pages of this gem, is a masterclass.
The Price And Prize of Greatness is not your typical memoir, but a book that will change and save many souls, especially those souls that seems to be co-existing with failure and disappointment.
This is a book that even when you are done with it, you still have to go back to refer and practically use its life-changing lessons.
While I found the book to be witty, important, necessary and inspirational. However, if you are a non-Xhosa speaker, your reading pace might be derailed a bit, because of the amount of Xhosa language used in the book. But worry not, as Putco made amends with direct translations.
Besides that, this is a must-read book to everyone, from women to men, young and old, rural and urban, married and single. For us, men, who are fathers, brothers and boyfriends, this is a book that will demand a serious self-introspection from us. To the married couples, this is a book that will make your marriage strong and a happy one. To young and old people, this book will revive the energy in you in order to realize the greatest gift and talents in you.