He is known for that one goal in the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa, his trademark dreadlocks and more than a decade of firing down the wing at Kaizer Chiefs.
In the first episode of Nedbank Reality Football, a series of tell-all conversations delving into the lives, defining moments and money choices of some of South Africa’s greatest footballers, Siphiwe Tshabalala shared his story.
“Shabba”, as he is affectionately known by his fans, recently sat down with broadcaster and fellow Chiefs legend Brian Mathe to reflect on how he was scammed along his journey.
During the conversation, the affable midfielder explained that having a mentor was essential, and named Steve Komphela as a key person who helped shape his career.
In discussing how he was able to manage his money throughout his career, Tshabalala explained: “You need someone who you respect to such an extent that you are scared to make mistakes and spend because they will ask you what you did with that money. You need that person who will always give you a push. We [as footballers] are in an environment where we are exposed to so many things, there are a lot of temptations. So, you can imagine that, if you have money, there’s a lot that you can do wrong, instead of thinking about investment.
“For me, Steve is not just a football coach – he’s a life coach, a reflection to one’s self and he also brings in that brother figure element. His journey is authentic and relatable. Apart from that, the man is intelligent; you learn a lot from him and, when he speaks, you need to pay attention. The agenda may seem like it’s football, but you get more than that – you get advice on life in general. So, he’s someone I respect and enjoy talking to because I know the wisdom that I get from him.”
South Africans often shy away from discussions about money, but Tshabalala feels that these discussions should happen more frequently. The athlete from Phiri, Soweto, has called on footballers to help normalise talking about money.
“We are representing sport, so we should have these kinds of discussions often. I want to give credit to Nedbank for giving us this opportunity to share our stories. I hope that this becomes an ongoing thing; it should be permanent.”
Full interview here: