In what came as a shock to the Botswana Skydiving community; On February 11th, 2017, well known and celebrated Motswana skydiver and publicity secretary for the Parachute Association of Botswana Garai Makaya lost his life whilst skydiving at Rustenburg Skydiving Club in South Africa.
It is with the most profound sadness that Parachute Association of Botswana advises the skydiving community and all our well-wishers that GARAI MAKAYA, our Publicity Secretary, lost his life whilst skydiving at Rustenburg Skydiving Club in South Africa, on the 11th February 2017. The Parachute Association of South Africa has launched an investigation on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa to establish the cause of the accident. Full details of this incident will be advised as soon as further information comes to hand. Our condolences go to his family, and all those close to him at this, their time of loss. We request everyone to please respect them in their time of mourning and to be sensitive in any comments they may make as we wait for fuller information to be availed about this incident. — PARACHUTE ASSOCIATION OF BOTSWANA Official Statement
Following this statement issued by the Parachute association of Botswana, scores of fans and followers mourned and took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to offer their condolences and some to honor and recognize the man for his acts of valor. Most notable amongst which were:
Farewell my brother. You convinced me to skydive and as someone I trusted I took the challenge at the 2016 Makgadikgadi Epic. I landed to find you and Esssop Mokgwathi waiting with a big hug. What a loss! You departed doing what you loved the best. Never one to be pulled back by anything. Your love for sporting events in Botswana was there for all to see…You were the lead person in the Makgadikgadi Epic. You did Khawa Dune Challenge.. Crete to Cape.. Gaborone AirShow.. Jam For Brunch and participated in fund raising events.. You left an indellible mark Garai.My heart is sore. God had a plan for you.. who are we to say otherwise. Our condolences to your family, friends, skydiving students and Skydive Botswana and all the global skydivers you touched in your own special way. Your legacy shall certainly live on. — Keitumetse Setlang.
On Behalf of YCare Charitable Trust …. our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Through his commitment to assist where he could, he has supported YCare for years, he took his time and helped me brand YCare Chairman’s Challenge (my solo run +460km run across the country)…. This year’s run, from July 31 – 5 August will be dedicated to him and his contribution to YCare. – Mod Koof
I am speechless 🙁 I will never forget your amazing smile and zest for life. The beautiful times at the Botswana boogies with you xxx rest well my friend and fly free forever xxxxx — Gillian Downs
The Man hu taught me how to sky dive and God decides to take him early. Am still in shock as we last spoke Thursday. — Kaybee C Paledi
I’ll miss you my boy! Thanks for all the great times and being such a great mate! Blue Skies! — Warren Pistorius
I was shocked to core and bone, I flew most of my skydiving with Garai, he talked a lot to me on New tricks of skydiving, he was buddy from 2007 when I inducted into the sport parachuting. I will miss you buddy. BLUE SKIES GARAI, land safely in heaven bro — George Bogatsu
I love u my brother. You hve left me so heart broken. And My kids without there favourite uncle. Why Garai x – Charity Makaya
Blue skies mate – you will be dearly missed by all your freefalling friends around the world — Annete Regan
Garai Makaya was a prominent and active member of the Brand Botswana Skydiving Team, Team Botswana, Parachute Association Botswana and Gaborne Skydiving Club. At the time of publishing, investigations were ongoing as to what could have been the cause for the accident.
The Sports Botswana Team wishes his family our most sincere condolences, and pledges to offer whatever media and PR support may be needed. As according to our primary objectives, we will see to it that Garai Makaya, exceptional in his skill as he was, is remembered as a legend he is and is committed to the pages of our Sports Botswana Hall of Fame project.
Here is to the legend, Blue Skies to Garai.