Mighty Chippa about results

2012-04-21 17:24

There aren’t many soccer players who hail from black townships in Cape Town who play for Absa Premiership sides Ajax Cape Town and Santos.

Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi said that, in view of this, he became involved in football to do his bit to open doors for aspiring young players from his Cape Town township, Philippi. “I am the hope of black people in our township and I hope my sacrifices will pay off one day,” said Mpengesi, a former security guard who now runs a business empire that has more than 3 000 employees.

With an estimated population of 200 000, Philippi is one of Cape Town’s biggest and most impoverished townships.

The 34-year-old entrepreneur said the recent achievement of his soccer academy – Philippi United – was a positive sign for football development in his area.

United became the first team from a black township to lift the Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup on the first attempt. They beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in the final.

“It seems everything that we touch turns to gold, but I think this is a gift from God. I am proud of what we have achieved in just the two years we have been around. We gained promotion to the NFD [National First Division] with Chippa United after just one season in the Vodacom League and now our academy has also done it,” he said.

“If you don’t have a development plan set up, then there is no future. We believe that having these youth teams in our stable will help us in years to come as we will not have to buy players or get players on loan at a fee. We’ll first check what we have in our kraal.”

The youth side is one of the structures under the Chippa United umbrella. The other feeder team, Peace Makers, campaigns in the Vodacom League.

With the Philippi Stadium – a 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy project – at his disposal, Mpengesi said his vision was to build a structure that could also house his players.

“There are about eight hectares of space around the stadium and it would be ideal to use it to build accommodation and training facilities.”

Despite the lack of sponsorship, Mpengesi said he took cash from his businesses to keep the football stable afloat.

“I spend in the region of R500 000 per month as I also have to pay salaries for the NFD club.”

But Mpengesi said he remained hopeful for a sponsorship.

“I am still an unknown brand and sponsors like to associate themselves with winners. We already have that requirement on our short CV.”

He said his ultimate goal was to see the senior side win the NFD and get straight into the Absa Premiership.

United edged Dynamos 3-2 on Friday and remained fifth on the log, six-points adrift of log leaders University of Pretoria who host Sivuatsa Stars at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria today.

» Mothowagae was in Cape Town courtesy of Metropolitan

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