Muti’s in­flu­ence … or lack thereof.

I re­mem­ber it be­came the

Kick Off - - INSIDE -

While I was still playing for Man­ning Rangers, we used to stay in an apart­ment where there used to be a night club at the bot­tom. The late Shakes Kung­wane used to stay on the third floor, with the night­club on the ground floor. Every­one, in­clud­ing the night­club man­age­ment, used to en­cour­age Shakes to go to that night­club as he would al­ways at­tract a big crowd; peo­ple would come there, buy drinks and just have fun. Even if we were playing a game, Shakes would be al­lowed to go to the night­club even though he was not drink­ing, just to be there to at­tract the big crowd. He would of­ten sleep at around four or five in the morn­ing, de­spite hav­ing to travel the next day to play an away game.

One day, I don’t re­mem­ber

who we were playing against, but I think it was Moroka Swal­lows away from home. Ob­vi­ously the rest of the guys were in camp sleep­ing while Shakes was not in camp. He would be hav­ing a good time at the club. At the time, Gor­don Ige­sund was in charge and used to love Shakes. And when he an­nounced his line up, he would al­ways say, ‘’Guys, this is what our line up will look like”. And he would not start with the goal­keeper as every­one else usu­ally does – he would start with the name “Shakes” and then only call the other play­ers to fol­low. Then Shakes said, “Mara nina nikhempile kodwa ku­bizwa mina kuqala, ngu­lom­lungu lo [But you guys were in camp, but my name is called first in the team’s start­ing line up, this white man though].” Dur­ing that game against Swal­lows, Shakes scored a beau­ti­ful curler and wildly cel­e­brated with the team, only for us to lose the match. When we re­turned to the change room, he said, “You guys went to camp, but you are cost­ing us, you are playing non­sense. I wasn’t in camp, but look at the goals I’m scor­ing. You went into camp, but you make us lose.” goal of the week and he went on to say: “I just stay in my room with my girl­friend all night be­fore a game. I’m like [the Brazil­ian] Ron­aldo: I get one round while you are in camp and then go and play a nice game af­ter that.” He would tease us about fol­low­ing the team rules and cur­fews reg­u­larly. It was fun and it was nice to be around him be­cause you were al­ways guar­an­teed a laugh, even at your own ex­pense. But the cra­zi­est things hap­pened when I was playing for Jomo Cos­mos. It was at the time we trained next to Rand Sta­dium. One day, Bra Jomo [Sono] iden­ti­fied that there were peo­ple who came in the evening and planted some­thing on the field, and he be­lieved it was muti. He was so sen­si­tive about those kinds of things, and de­cided to try do some­thing about it. Be­fore a match against Su­perS­port United, we were taken to an un­known lo­ca­tion at night, where we were or­dered to strip naked. It was so cold in Jo­han­nes­burg and there we were, stand­ing naked near Rand Sta­dium. We were then driz­zled with this muti, which was very strange. Along­side the ground there is a road where peo­ple were pass­ing by. Some ladies were left won­der­ing what in the world we were do­ing. We also had some white boys who were also or­dered to strip naked to per­form the strange muti rit­ual. The ladies pass­ing by then ex­claimed, “Hawu! Kanti nabelungu bayawuthanda umuthi? [My word! Even white peo­ple like muti?]” It was so funny that day. Yet de­spite go­ing through that rit­ual, we still went on to lose 3-0 to Su­perS­port! Imagine! Even af­ter stand­ing naked in the cold!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.