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A quick online search on how many supporters Kaizer Chiefs have will lead you to various estimates from 15 million plus to 16 to 20 million plus supporters.
With one research library revealing that Chiefs have more supporters inside South Africa and in neighbouring countries.
The site reads: “It is also the most supported club in South Africa and the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia etc. It has been estimated that the club has over 100 million supporters.”
It may not be easy yet to provide an accurate figure of how many supporters Chiefs have, but there’s overwhelming material on the Internet and eslwehere that Kaizer chiefs continue to gain millions of supporters inside and outside South Africa.
A study of this ever growing brand and clearly the biggested sporting brand in South Africa and in the Southern African region, has led the Club to be declared as “The Biggest Club” in Southern Africa.
With a revenue of $25 mil. – $50 million, Kaizer Chiefs employs 100 – 250. The Club falls under the Industry of Sports Teams & Leagues, Hospitality.
As a special part of the Kaizer Chiefs family, being a card carrying member of the Amakhosi Supporters Club means you get to enjoy a whole host of incredible benefits from insurance and retail among others.
They are the most supported club in the country, drawing an average home attendance of 16,144 in the 2019–20 season, the highest in the league, hence the Club is dubbed “The Biggest Club” in Southern Africa.
The Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy is a programme that is FREE of charge for all players across the different age-groups. We currently have five age-groups namely our under-13, under-15, under-17, under-19 and the reserve team.
“Our responsibility as a football club is to set and maintain a standard of excellence at the training rounds. We expect extremely high standards of our players, and we expect them to understand that their development starts every day that they walk through the gates of the KC Village.
The KC development houses some of its players at the state of the art KC Village in Naturena where players are under the tutelage of house fathers and mothers. The academy team does not hold open trials as most of our players are scouted around the country, and then invited for further assessment,” the Club notes.
“Kaizer XI Run Riot”, this is how the headlines screamed in The World newspaper the following Monday after Kaizer’s boys had routed the Transvaal Coloured Professional Invitation XI 4-0 (on Saturday) and the District Invitation XI 9-1 (on Sunday). Not an elegant headline, an attention grabber that captured the essence of it all, as Chiefs remembers.
After these two games, there was no turning back for the Club.
For the next 53 years such headlines became synonymous with Kaizer Chiefs. Chiefs entered the game not only with the bang but elegance as well.
There is no contradiction in Kaizer Motaung’ statement, “We changed the face of the game,” He is not presumptuous either!
Amakhosi scored an amazing 106 goals in 30 games in that record-breaking NPSL season, finishing nine points ahead of league runners-up Moroka Swallows.
Chiefs have made several ‘Firsts’ in local football more than any other club. The First team to have more full time professional players; the First team to have several players campaigning abroad at the same time (Shaka Ngcobo, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Pele Blaschke were all campaigning in the US at the same time in the 70s), the First team to be registered as a company, the first team to have white registered supporters.
It was Kaizer Chiefs who made a history of sorts in 1975 when they brought out former Brazilian international Jairzinho to this country.
The Club continued in the 90s to ‘revolutionarise’ South African football becoming the first local club to have a clubhouse, Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, the Club adds.
The Kaizer Chiefs Supporters Club, according to the fans, “Gives us an authentic feeling of belonging as it proves our affiliation to Amakhosi.
As a true supporter we need to attend home games, wear only authentic gear, and have a Kaizer Chiefs Mobile SIM card and a Kaizer Chiefs insurance funeral policy.
We also need to buy our monthly copy of the Amakhosi magazine and follow the Club on all social platforms, including regular visits to the website.
Our support makes a difference to the team – we are the 12th player on the field and a vital member of this Family.”
This all started on the 7th January 1970.
Kaizer, who was playing his trade in America, found his friends and teammates at Orlando Pirates in 1969 sidelined. He played a vital role in the formation of what is currently the biggest sporting brand in the country, Kaizer Chiefs.
Together with the likes of Thomas “Zero My Hero” Johnson, the late Ewert “The Lip” Nene, Edward “Msomi” Khoza, Ratha Mokgoatlheng and others having toured the country successfully with Kaizer Chiefs XI in 1969, they decided to form what is known today as Kaizer Chiefs.
Kaizer Motaung remembered vividly, “It was at this meeting before I returned to the United States of America that I was pressured not to abandon the Kaizer XI. My father also played a huge role in convincing me, saying, “This will help you to have something to fall back on when you come back from the USA”.
We needed strong administration as I was going to be away. I then recruited the late Clarence Mlokoti who was a good administrator. We also had people like China Ngema (currently a Director at the Club). This is how Kaizer Chiefs was conceived,” revealed Motaung.
When Chiefs started, they had their slogan, ‘Love & Peace’ and the brand attracted a ‘Hippie culture’ while they were winning fans on the pitch with their brand of football.
Most Chiefs players spotted trousers with flares while among the clevers in the township and a majority of ordinary people-trousers had turn ups. Chiefs female supporters also showed traits of more liberalism in their dress sense.
Chiefs founder member, Zero Johnson recalled, “We wanted to be a team with style, not only on the field of play but off the field as well. I suddenly became a ‘dance teacher’ for the players. It was important for Kaizer Chiefs players to be able to dance when there was a call to do so. Fans loved mingling with players and dance so this was a strategy to wow more crowds,” he said laughing.
Life was not as easy though, as Club’s legend Michael Bizzah Dlamini revealed in a television show recently, “There were tough times at the beginning especially financially but we soldiered on. We were determined to take on the best in the country,”
Side by side with success, death has been a constant visitor to Chiefs. The deaths of Ewert Nene, former captain, Ariel “Pro” Khongoane in the early 70s were shattering so was the death of the likes of Gilbert Sekhabi, Elkiem “Pro” Khumalo, Clarence Mlokoti and the legendary, Patrick “Ace” Ntsulengoe.
The Boet Erasmus ‘close call’ when players such as Doctor Khumalo, Moses Ngcobo, William Shongwe were pinned to the ground by two walls and the mass of humanity brought dark clouds for the Club. The Orkney disaster on Sunday, 13 January 1991 and the Ellis Park disaster on the 11th April 2001 will forever be remembered as dark moments since the Club’s inception 53 years ago.
Kaizer Chiefs though has always been all about winning from day one. The Club has won more trophies than any other soccer club in South Africa. It boasts 20 million plus fans around the country which makes it the biggest sporting establishment in the country and one of the biggest in the continent. The Club continues to grow with fans beyond South African borders.
As the Club soldiers on 53 years later, it is hoped that the new generation will match the achievements of some of the legends that turned up for the Club: Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, Ariel “Pro” Khongoane, Vusi “Computer” Lamola, Johnny “Magwegwe” Mokoena, Teenage Dladla, Lucky Stylianou, Peter B’alack, Johannes “Fetsi” Molatedi, Doctor “Pretty Boy” Khumalo, Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe and many others.
Kaizer Chiefs, the most decorated club in South African football, have won more than 93 trophies.
The Gold-and-Black have won the League Championship 13, lifted the National Cup on 13 occasions, with fifteen top 8 titles (The most by any team in SA), have won the League Cup thirteen times and several unofficial cups.
On six occasions Chiefs were Runners-up for League Championships; African Cup Winners’ Cup – Winners: 2001; CAF Super Cup – Runners-up: 2002; CAF Champions League – Runners-up: 2020–21; Individual Awards – African Club of the Year 2001.
Including; Vodacom Challenge – Winners (5) – record: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009; Telkom Charity Cup – Winners (11) – record: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2010; Carling Black Label Cup – Winners(4): 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021 & Runners-up (5): 2011, 2012 , 2014, 2015 , 2019; Sales House Champ of Champs – Winners: 1984; Ohlsson’s Challenge Cup – Winners: 1987, 1989; Castle Challenge Cup – Winners: 1990, 1991; Stylo Cup – Winners: 1970; UCT Super Team Competition – Winners: 1972; Shell Helix Ultra Cup Winners: 2019.
Chiefs also has hundreds of Supporter’s Branches across South Africa.
Kaizer Chiefs has over 7.2 million social media followers. Facebook: 3.6 Million; Twitter: 2.7 Million; Instagram: 0.845 Million; and YouTube: 54,800 Subscribers.
And on October 29, 2012, Kaizer Chiefs announced that they had registered a rugby sevens team to participate in the inaugural 7s Premier League.
The Club also runs the Kaizer Chiefs eSports Tournament.
In 2017, Kaizer Chiefs partnered with sponsors for this inaugural competitive gaming experience which gave gamers a chance to battle it out at the Kaizer Chiefs esports stage, where they were to knock each other out of the FIFA 17 challenge in a bid to be the ultimate winner.
This event will offer aligned partners the opportunity to affiliate their brands with one of the world’s fastest-growing competitive spectacles.
The Club also has development teams in Cape Town & Durban as YouthTeams.
Kaizer Chiefs reserve team plays in the DStv Diski Challenge.
The reserve teams accomplishments include: Gauteng Reserve League 2013; Gauteng Reserve League 2017; Gauteng Reserve League 2021; Gauteng Reserve League 2022; Engen Knockout Cup 2017; Engen Knockout Cup 2021; Engen Knockout Cup 2022; Nedbank Ke Yona Cup 2010; Nedbank Ke Yona Cup 2016; Nedbank Ke Yona Cup 2021; SAFA Regionals Gauteng 2011; SAFA Regionals Gauteng 2012; SAFA Regionals Gauteng 2019; SAFA Regional Western Cape 2014; SAFA Regionals Western Cape 2020; SAFA Regionals KwaZulu Natal 2020; SAFA Regionals KwaZulu Natal 2021; SAFA Regionals KwaZulu Natal 2022; Telkom Charity Cup 2013; Telkom Charity Cup 2015; Telkom Charity Cup 2019; DSTV Youth League 2020; DSTV Youth Super Cup 2022; Multichoice Diski Challenge 2017; DSTV DIski Shield 2022.
Kaiser Chiefs, the British indie/britpop band, was named after the club because Lucas Radebe, a former player of Kaizer Chiefs, captained Leeds United, the team they all supported.