Globetrotter Mukansi still scooting around

2011-08-13 18:45

He has been there, done that and got the T-shirt.

This aptly describes the nomadic life of MacDonald Mukansi.

In a career spanning two ­decades the 36-year-old striker has turned out for 18 clubs in seven countries. Recently he’s been training with National First Division side Atlie FC (formerly Nathi Lions) in the hope of later signing on with the team.

As a result of his globetrotting across Africa, Asia and Europe it’s not surprising that the former Bafana Bafana striker speaks Russian, Slavian, Cypriot and basic Bengali, which is the second most commonly spoken language in India.

“Travelling is my passion and I can go and play for little money anywhere in the world,” says ­Mukansi, who is arguably South Africa’s most travelled player in the modern era.

“I have used about six passports and they are all full of stamps and visas.”

The man nicknamed “Scooter” insists that his club hopping is not influenced by money.

“I have never made what top players earn in South Africa. I am just motivated by acquiring more knowledge and learning about different cultures in my travels,” he says.

Mukansi has plied his trade in countries such as Bangkok and India, where not many have heard of professional soccer leagues.

“I was taken to different clubs by different agents. That is how I ended up at some of these ­unusual destinations for a soccer player,” he says.

“In Vietnam they would dish up a platter of chicken, frog, fish, dog, snake and beef. Maybe I ate dog meat unknowingly in Vietnam.”

Mukansi says he rates Russia as his favourite place as it is where he has had some of his most amazing experiences.

“I used to play for a Russian club called SKA Energiya and we were located some 30kms from the Chinese border,” he says.

“We used to travel about eight hours to our away games. We would leave three or four days ­before the game because of the time difference. I loved Russia. Life there was normal in winter, as if it was summer – even at ­minus 20 degrees Celsius.

“It was also there that I developed the love of going to church every day.” Having cut his professional teeth with the now defunct Highlands Park in 1991 and then going on to represent 11 local clubs, Scooter believes the motor of his engine is still intact.

“I still have the speed and I challenge anyone who thinks they can run faster than me. I don’t allow anyone to say I am finished – I can play until 40,” says the man who played for Bafana at the 2002 Fifa World Cup co-hosted by Korea and Japan.

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