Shakes Mashaba shares his secrets

2014-08-10 15:00

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Newly appointed Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba does not need to worry about filling big shoes at the national team. After all, he wears a size 12.  Daniel Mothowagae finds out more about the man in the hot seat

1. The name Shakes does not appear on his official documents.

It was a moniker given to him by his team-mates in the 1970s at his original amateur club, Preston Brothers in Orlando East, Soweto. “Everyone calls me Papa at home and I only use Shakes in my signature,” he says. Mashaba’s first name is Ephraim.

2. Mashaba has been married for 31 years and has four children, among them a set of twin girls.

“My family is the source of my strength?...?like a crocodile whose strength is in the river. Family life is a priority for me and my duties these days are to drop off and pick up my grandchildren from school and take them for ice cream at the mall. Secondary to that is my love for the gym. It’s the first thing I look for when I travel.”

3. His aim was to do office work as a senior football administrator when he reached 60, but Safa had other plans.

“The Bafana appointment caught me off guard because it means I am back on the field. Now I have to see my doctor for a checkup to fix my knees because players believe in a coach who can demonstrate the drills on the field.”

4. He helped his son out with R1?million to get into business.

“My son was a good player who came through the juniors at Orlando Pirates under Augusto Palacios. One day he came to me and said he was not going to continue because of the pressure of comparing him to me. I was worried. He decided to go to business school and came back later to ask for R1?million. He bought a Pick n Pay franchise in Springs.”

5. He is not afraid to cry.

“When I start thinking about what lies ahead, I get mixed emotions and I cry?–?especially when I wonder whether I will achieve my goal or not.”

6. His team-mates used to call him Mazinyo (the one with the missing teeth) after he lost his front teeth following a nasty kick during a match in the 1970s.

“We were playing against Katlehong City. I was going for a header and a player I only remember as Dan ‘Nyakanyaka’ kicked me in the mouth. I lost some teeth and a few others cracked.”

7. Mashaba only held a day job once.

“After I matriculated at Orlando High School, I worked for a school clothing shop called Snapper. But I only lasted a few days because that was not my line. I then used to sell peanuts and apples in trains.”

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