Secrets of the Stars
Kabelo Mahlasela (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Ten things you didn’t know about Bloemfontein Celtic’s Kabelo Mahlasela
Kabelo “Skipper” Mahlasela was born in Mapetla, Soweto a day before Valentine’s Day in 1991. His mother gave him a second name – Luckyboy – while he was still a baby, yet that name was not included in his official documents. His mom – who works at a clothing shop in Johannesburg – still refers to him as Luckyboy when she is happy.
Unknown to many is the fact that former Moroka Swallows and Jomo Cosmos midfielder Teboho “Disco” Mahlasela is Kabelo’s biological father. Disco – who is retired – now acts as his son’s intermediary, representing him on all contract-related matters and offering advice.
The 26-year-old is the middle child of three children in his family. His younger sister Palesa is currently in Grade 11. He had an older brother Kgotso, who tragically passed away at a very young age. “My parents told me that he died when he was a baby which is why I never got to see him,” discloses Kabelo.
Though he was born in Soweto, Mahlasela moved to Lakeside in Sebokeng, Vaal aged 10 after his mother moved house. From the age of 12, all his schooling was funded by Orlando Pirates. In Sebokeng he played amateur football with Bongani Theletsane (ex-Jomo Cosmos), Reuben Thebakeng (ex-Free State Stars), Thabo Rakhale, Thabo Mnyamane, Tsietsi Mkhwanazi and Abia Nale.
Mahlasela had been recommended to Pirates by Themba Dlamini, who was his coach at amateur club Celta Vigo and after being recruited by The Bucs, he then enrolled into Bophilo Impilo Private School while staying at the club’s residence in Mayfair.
Kaizer Chiefs winger William Twala is a close friend of Mahlasela, with the two having been in the same class at school. In Grade 9 they were joined by Chippa United goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo in that same class with ex-Platinum Stars midfielder Mduduzi Nyanda also linking up with them in their matric year.
As an 11-year-old back in 2002, he had the “treasured pleasure” of appearing in an MTN television advert, with his selection having been influenced by the fact that he was one of the most skilful players in the Pirates development structure. Ahead of the shooting of that advert he took a picture with his teammate Vusumuzi Ncantsane, Augusto Palacios and the late Gift Leremi which recently surfaced on social media.
With his mom losing her job just after he completed his matric following a seven-year stay with Pirates, Mahlasela then decided to leave the club in search of better earnings. He headed out to Roses United, spending two years there before returning to sign for three years with The Bucs, but spent all those years away on loan at Roses United, Sivutsa Stars and Royal Eagles before joining Celtic two years ago.
Through his earnings from football the Celtic midfielder is paying for his younger sister’s schooling and states that he doesn’t want her to face the same financial challenges that led to him dropping out of college. Kabelo enrolled for a Law degree at UNISA, but then dropped out due to financial problems.
Mahlasela insists that the only social media account that he holds is on Instagram. There is strangely a fake Facebook account under his name which he once used before abandoning. Security reasons have since forced him into sharing his apartment in Bloemfontein with his childhood friend Sikhumbuzo Nkumane.
BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC’S KABELO MAHLASELA IS WELL ACQUAINTED WITH MANY PSL STARS AS HE REVEALS THE CHALLENGES BEHIND HIS ARDUOUS JOURNEY TO THE TOP.