25th Apr 2021
Rose Gumede is one of the longest serving staff members at the Lions Rugby Company with 20 years on board as part of the kitchen and administration staff.
Rose, also called Mama Rose or Rosie, is the one that welcomes everyone with a hot steaming cup of coffee or tea upon arrival at our home away from home in the mornings at Emirates Airline Park.
Rose started out working for a cleaning company that had the contract to clean the stadium. And when Ronel Groenewald, who was the personal assistant to people like Louis Luyt and Johan Prinsloo, told her the Lions were looking for a full-time lady in the kitchen, Rose jumped at the opportunity to become part of the family.
Some of her favourite staff members who have come and gone are the former CEO Prinsloo, whom she calls Mama Thembu as this is what he called her, the late Morris Douglas who was Financial Manager, and Suzette van der Merwe, former PA to Lions CEO’s Manie Reyneke and Rudolf Straeuli.
“When people see the Lions, I want them to see a combined, progressive and loving family who cares for each other. We truly are one,” says Rose.
The highlight of her time at the Lions will always be the 1995 World Cup final. She was helping out in the presidential suite on that day. “It was so special to see people from different countries coming together and just celebrating our win. It was amazing.”
Rose has three adult sons and her family has become avid Lions supporters through the years who all crowd around a TV when their favourite team is in action.