Golfer passes away

Posted in Sport

Lentswe, Kanana - Jimmy Nkatswang who was born in 1964 in Kanana passed away last week on Thursday 5 September at Tshepong Hospital after a long illness.

He attended a local primary school called Ntataise and later went to Kanana Secondary school until standard 7.

Due to the poverty experienced by his family, he was compelled to drop school and look for some source of income to augment his parent’s wages. He then started doing a number of odd manual labour within the community in return for cash. It is through these odd jobs that he found his way to the sport of golf.

According to his family, Nkatswang was married and has 2 children.

His niece Selloane Phori said growing up, Nkatswang was a soccer player and an impeccable goalkeeper.

“Those who grew up with him believed he would one-day play soccer professionally wearing jersey number one. His fate was however not on the soccer field but on the golf course. Nkatswang’s first encounter with the game of golf was through witnessing three local amateur golfers, Mr. Mabe, Mr. Lephuthing and Mr. Lepheane, hitting golf balls in an open field.

“He learned from them that he could make a bit of extra cash by being a caddie at the golf course. His need for income eventually lead him to the Orkney golf course where he caddied for local business men in return for cash. He learned the rules of the game from being a caddie for local amateur golfers and it was not long before his curiosity got the better of him and he decided to try out playing the game himself,” Sellonae said.

As an amateur, Nkatswang’s golf idol was Joe Dlamini, a black professional golfer from Swaziland. Eddie Dlamini said in 1988, he got to play with his idol in the Marley Classic.

“Starting from 1989, he played in the Sunshine Tour. His best professional performance was in February 1992 when he played the ICL International tournament and finished position 6T ahead of the likes of Ernie Els who finished 8T and Joe Dlamini who finished 63T. Nkatswang’s highest career world ranking was number 536 in 1992.

“Nkatswang spent his last days informally coaching young aspiring golfers. Since he retired from professional golf, he has coached and introduced more than 200 players to the game of golf. He also went back to being a caddie, where his professional knowledge of the game helped to improve many recreational golfer’s game at the Orkney Golf club,” Eddie said.

His funeral service will be held at Kanana’s Anglican Church from 07:00 on Saturday 14 September.