There was a misunderstanding
Congratulations to Sakhumzi Mjolo whose emailed submission on Living my best life – experiences rather than stuff was selected by Capitec as the best story to come in from a Soccer Laduma reader. As this month’s winner, Sakhumzi was able to submit a list of players – current and legends – he would like to have answering his questions. Mark Mayambela was on that list and was more than happy to field questions submitted to him by Sakhumzi. Soccer Laduma put Sakhumzi’s great questions to Mayambela, which resulted in this interview where Mayambela talks about what inspires him and the on-field incident that took place between him and Chippa United head coach, Eric Tinkler.
Sakhumzi question: Who is Mark Mayambela? Mark:
Well, Mark Mayambela is a young man that was born in Cape Town, in Khayelitsha to be specific, who grew up loving and playing football. He grew up falling in love with football on the streets of Khayelitsha and went on to become a professional player, a household name not only in Cape Town but in South Africa. He is someone living his dream.
Sakhumzi question: Where did you start developing your love for soccer? Mark:
It was in the streets of Khayelitsha, as I pointed out earlier. You know, playing there in the streets is where not only myself but a lot of other soccer players start to develop that love for playing. We all fell in love with how we would all come together to enjoy those little matches. Well, those were competitive games for us and we enjoyed every moment.
Sakhumzi question: What inspires you to wake up, go to the field and play good football? Mark:
That would be my family and my family’s wellbeing, knowing that I am a breadwinner at home, knowing that they look up to me. Also, the aspiring young people out there who also want to be professionals in whatever career path one day, those are the people that inspire me to do more because I know that every time we play or we are out doing things, they are watching us. It is always important for us to inspire them because, in return, they inspire us to become the best that we can be. Also, the love that we get from the supporters out there really helps us a lot to build our confidence.
Sakhumzi question: Are you a family guy? Mark:
Yes, I definitely am. I am very close to my family and I think some people have seen that from my social media and all that. I believe that having family around you helps you to become the person that you are meant to be. It helps you to be grounded and it brings a sense of joy to you as a person. I really love that my family have been very supportive of me and I support them through anything. Like I said, I am the breadwinner in my family and I always try to make sure that they have everything they need. I’m grateful that I have been able to do that for them because they are the reason why I fight and work so hard to give them what they deserve.
Sakhumzi question: How is being captain at Chippa United treating you? Mark:
Well, you know, I have been enjoying myself and I am very grateful to the club for giving me such a role and to my teammates as well for receiving this decision. This is a great role and it means a lot to me. As much as I have to be a leader, I am also learning a lot every day. I am learning new things every day about the guys around me and just about how to become better at what I do both on and off the field. It’s good and I am enjoying myself, which I think is the best part.
Sakhumzi question: Who are your favourite players among those you’ve played with? Mark:
Favourite players that I have played with? Tjo, there are so many players that I can think of. It’s quite a difficult one to answer. I have had the privilege of playing with great players. But there was a player that I played with at Bloemfontein Celtic named Grant Smith. I think he was one of the best players that I came across from that time we spent together. It was unfortunate that he never went on to play football again, but he is definitely one of those players that stood out for me and one that I will never forget.
Sakhumzi question: Do you practise your styles or is it something that you were born with? Mark:
I would say it is a bit of both. I have the God-given talent and I have worked and still do work to improve. As they say, you can’t just rely on your talent alone – you need to continue finding ways to improve yourself on the field. But it’s like that with any job or career that you choose. You might have the talent to do something, but you also need to work hard to make sure that you do more than just doing well and fulfilling the requirements. You have to go beyond that and prove to others why you deserve to be where you are.
Sakhumzi question: Tell me about the feeling after scoring a goal. Mark:
Ah, it’s a really nice feeling to get that chance to score for your team and it’s even better when the team goes on to win the game. That is one of the best feelings in the world. Scoring actually builds you and your confidence grows as a player. It makes you want to do more and work more on yourself, so yeah, to answer your question, I would say it is an amazing feeling.
Sakhumzi question: Please tell me about the incident between you and Eric Tinkler. Mark:
No, that was a heat of the moment kind of incident. It was nothing out of the ordinary, as these things happen in football games. It was a big game for us. There was a lot of frustration and there was a misunderstanding. I know it looked bad and I did apologise to my coach after that game. We sorted the matter out and we were both cooled down after that. So, yeah, it was just a heat of the moment situation and now it is water under the bridge.
Sakhumzi question: Do you see yourself playing for Chippa until you retire? Mark:
You never know what life can throw at you, so if it happens that I do stay at the team until I retire, I will be happy to do so. This team has become my family and I am happy here. You never know what will happen in the future – maybe I will play here until it is time to hang up my boots.
Sakhumzi question: What’s been the best moment in your football career? Mark:
I would say every day because you live every day to your best. I cherish every moment that I get to go onto the field and play the game that I love. Every day is a blessing and ever since I turned into a professional footballer, it has changed my life. I cherish every moment of every day of my life and I do my best to live it well. I live every day to make sure that I leave a legacy on the field.
Sakhumzi question: What is your festive season message to people out there? Mark:
Firstly, I think if we are talking about supporters on the football side, then we have to show gratitude to them for the support that they give us. I believe that some of them even spend their last cent to come and watch us play and that means so much to us to see how people would go out of their way to show us their support. It’s our duty as footballers to give them the best and to entertain them and to thank them for everything, you know. We are really grateful for the love and for the support. They should go on and enjoy the festive season and the break that they will be getting to spend quality time with their loved ones. I know that it is a busy season and, unfortunately, a lot of road accidents happen at this time of the year, so I plead with everyone to be careful on the roads and be aware of everything around them. Don’t drink and drive because that is what has been taking our people away. Most of all, they must just enjoy this time and we will be waiting to welcome them back in the new year.