Football BibleLatest Soccer News

Vincent Mafuta: Turning security guards into football stars

If one were to examine the circumstances under which Vincent Goabaone Mafuta formed VTM Football Club, one could indeed say that what is now a top-flight league side in Botswana was founded by accident.

Nine years ago, a few lads working at VTM, then only a security company, thought they had a bright idea. They decided to invite Mafuta to one of their football tournaments on a weekend.

This was meant to be merely a kick about among boys. It was also a chance to show their boss their idea of a weekend away from work.

These neighbourhood tournaments hold diverse meanings for different individuals. For the local “football stars” whose dreams of fame never materialised, these matches are a chance to silence their doubters, showcasing their abilities on the field and proving their past prowess. Retired players find in these games an opportunity to relive their glory days. And for others, these clashes offer a welcome release to unwind and de-stress from the workweek.

For Mafuta, he relished the opportunity to connect with his workers through a game they all enjoyed immensely. However, as he sat on the sidelines on that day nine years ago, Mafuta had a light bulb moment. Dazzled by the displays of his charges, he decided there and then that he wanted to start a football club. In fact, not only would he form a club, but he was determined to see it rise to the top.

For Vincent Mafuta and his wife, Reddy, the match was a chance to interact with his workers and partake in an activity that they seemed to draw a lot of pleasure in.
For Vincent Mafuta and his wife, Reddy, the match was a chance to interact with his workers and partake in an activity that they seemed to draw a lot of pleasure in.


“The club was started by our young boys who were security officers in 2017,” Mafuta tells FARPost. “They started playing tournaments around the country. One day they invited me to come and watch them. When I got there I was touched to see the talent.”

For Edwin Nthoiwa, the rise of VTM reads like a story ripped off the pages of a fairytale. Nthoiwa has been there since Mafutha started scripting the ascendancy of VTM almost a decade ago.

“I started playing football at Combination Stars [amateur level] in 2011 for a season,” Nthoiwa tells FARPost. “I then went to GNT where I played half a season in 2013. The following year, I went to Tonota FC for three years [amateur level].

“In 2017, Mr Vincent Goabaone Mafuta, the president of VTM, offered me a job at VTM Security. By then, the company had talented young men who loved football. We built a work team playing kasi tournaments. We won most tournaments and towards the end of the year 2017, the president insisted on registering the team in a lower division. He bought a status from a Kweneng Division Two league team which was called Mmakgosi,” he says.

If the VTM story is indeed a fairytale, then the story of how Mmakgosi survived relegation would deserve a chapter of its own. Perhaps if Mmakgosi had been relegated, Mafuta’s resolve might have faltered and he might have thought twice about bringing a club from the lower rungs of Botswana football to the top flight.

With players like Nthoiwa leading the charge, however, the club went on a historic run. They not only secured its safety, but also got to finish in the top half of the league.

VTM Security in the lower divisions


Nthoiwa recalls how they saved Mmakgosi FC from relegation. With only 17 registered players and two points at the bottom of the log, they faced a daunting task. However, they won all 15 remaining games, finishing the league in 6th place and securing their status for the following season.

The rise of VTM has not been without its obstacles. There are always monsters in any fairytale and along the way, the club has had to slay a few. From COVID-19 disruptions to heartbreaks in the promotional playoffs, VTM has faced it all.

The 32-year-old midfielder recounts VTM FC’s journey to the Botswana premier league. In 2018/2019, they narrowly missed promotion. The 2019/20 season was cut short due to COVID-19. In 2021, they secured promotion to the first division. In 2022/23, they won the promotional playoffs and were promoted to the premier league for the 2023/24 season. Nthoiwa expresses surprise at the team’s rapid ascent to the top league.

“Honestly, I had no reason to believe we would be playing in the top-flight league in such a short period looking at how the team was built. In the 2022/23 season, we played in the first-division league and secured second position. So we had to play promotional playoffs with Chadibe FC in which we won in penalties and gained promotion to the premier league,” he explains.

For the Kweneng Regional Football Association chairperson, Mafuta, the addition of such seasoned professionals as former Orlando Pirates stars Sifiso Myeni and Rooi Mahamutsa has been an illustration of the ambitions he has harboured since he bought lowly Mmakgosi in the second division.

VTM in the early stages


“Our rise is a clear testament that there’s talent in Botswana that needs to be nurtured. “When we went to the first division, we brought Sifiso Myeni and Rooi Mahamutsa. They’ve helped us a lot,” says the Southern Block chairman.

“We gained promotion to the premier league and we’re fighting hard to sustain the team in the Premier League,” adds Mafuta, who also serves as BFA chairman of competitions.

The dream of bringing VTM to the top-flight league has not been a walk in the park. For Mafuta, the realisation of the dream meant foresight and serious investment. For some of the players, who are employed as security personnel at VTM, chasing the dream meant a lot of late nights and early mornings.

In fact, the club’s coach Reuben ‘Njavera’ Chikoti has sometimes found himself pleading on their behalf, as they found themselves football players by day and security guards by night.

“We have security officers in the team, but I asked the president to release them and let them build careers as footballers,” Njavera tells FARPost.

“We had situations where they’d go for the night shift and then come in the morning to train. So we had to find a way around it to ensure they could perform to their optimal level. These boys are hustlers, they’re fighters.”

The transformation of VTM
Former Orlando Pirates winger Sifiso Myeni captains VTM FC

In business and football, Mafutha has been driven by the kind of ambition that does not make sense to those watching his moves from the sidelines. How else can one explain how he managed to build a company with a staff complement of 1000 at only 32 years of age? Or how, he has managed to build a stadium for his VTM, making them only the second club in Botswana to have its arena.

“When he first mentioned the stadium [VTM Arena], I never believed it made sense,” Ronald Ntebela, a director at Live the Dream, tells FARPost. Live the Dream does team buildings for VTM and has been part of the club’s journey to the top. “We had a serious argument. But he insisted. The cost of building the facility didn’t make sense. But when I see what the facility is now generating and the endless possibilities, I realise Mr Mafuta is a true visionary.”

While to others, his ideas might seem senseless at the beginning to others, for Mafutha, every decision is well-thought and calculated. The stadium that at one point seemed like an extravagant expense is now bringing money back to the club.

“The BFA president McLean Letshwiti adopted the Reset Agenda from the head of state His Excellency President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Mr Letshwiti speaks about club development. The key to that is infrastructure.

“Clubs need to have a place to play. This is our office. We decided we needed a place where we could play our home games. Before, we were renting stadiums. It’s a big achievement to have the facility and the team.


“The facility is used for Premier League games and first-division official games. Other teams also hire the facility. It’s also used for other events like music festivals. It’s generating revenue for us.

“I believe football must act as a catalyst to change lives. We’ve seen several boys who started as security guards get offers to move to other teams,” explains Mafuta.

Myeni, a seasoned veteran who for a while in his career saw the Iron Duke, Irvin Khoza, steer the fortunes of South Africa’s Buccaneers, praises Mafuta as a visionary, a relentlessly ambitious leader of men who is determined to steer those under his stewardship to glory.

“Being part of this incredible journey fills me with pride,” Myeni tells FARPost. “I’m honoured the president invited me to join his visionary project. The strides we’ve made in such a short time, achieving so much without any sponsors, are remarkable. I wish him and the entire team continued success in the future.”


Township Rollers coach Innocent Morapedi has spoken highly of VTM FC, highlighting the club’s significant impact on Botswana football and its impressive facilities.

Morapedi recalled a visit to VTM FC’s training ground last season, where he used the club’s state-of-the-art infrastructure to motivate his players. “If you cannot be motivated by the facility, then you’re not true to yourself,” he recounted telling the team.

He emphasised that the club’s investment in the sport is considerable and sets a high standard for others. “It means the contribution from their set-up is massive. We appreciate their investment, they contribute to the game,” he stated.

His comments underscore VTM FC’s growing influence and the positive role they play in elevating the level of football in Botswana.

RELATED STORY: Hersi Ally Said: The engineer who orchestrated Yanga’s revival

Back to top button