From The Streets To Bafana, Ex-Chiefs Player Shares His Journey
From The Streets To Bafana Bafana, Ex-Kaizer Chiefs Player Shares His Journey
Ex Kaizer Chiefs defender Siphiwe Mkonza, who is involved Shield’s Sbonis’ iDiski campaign, shared his inspiring story from living on the streets during his upbringing to donning the Bafana Bafana shirt later in his career.
Click through the gallery to see some images out of Mkhonza’s career.
The 37-year-old had a tricky upbringing but always dreamt of becoming a professional footballer, and featured for the likes of Amakhosi, Bloemfontain Celtic and even in seven games for South Africa.
“When my parents divorced, I was about nine years old and I was still very vulnerable. I was already in football. My mind was always on playing soccer, but things were difficult at home,” he told Soccer Laduma.
“At some point I slept on the street. I didn’t know what I would eat the next day, but I had a dream. I knew I could go far in football. I always had my boots with me.
“Then when I was a teenager, I heard of trials at Bloemfontein Celtic. But transport wasn’t easy to get for me, so when I arrived, the trials were finished.
“They told me they’d play a friendly the following day. I couldn’t just go home and come back the next day, so I decided to sleep on the field.
“I guess that somehow impressed the coach and he ended up playing me for a few minutes. I impressed, and here I am today.”
Today, Mkhonza is a well-known analyst and involved in Shield’s Sbonis’ iDiski campaign, where he was part of the coaching team that selected five talents from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein and Pretoria to battle it out for one spot to train with the stars of Premier League champions Chelsea.
“I want to grow as a coach and I believe any coach should start at grassroots level. You know, at grassroots you are unearthing talent,” he added.
“I also want to share my story with these boys because they need to understand that you only reach the top through hard work and dedication. I tell them where I come from – from the streets – and here I am today. I’m an analyst, I’m a coach, I have represented my country.
“The most import- ant thing is that my story relates to the campaign. We are saying, ‘Move away from the couch, from the street. Come to the field and play.’”
The trial finals will take place in October and the winner will win the chance of a lifetime to impress the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Co.
In addition to the winning player, one lucky superfan, which could be you, will win a Chelsea FC dream trip to watch the Blues' first team train and meet the squad at the club's Cobham Training Centre.
The nationwide competition is open to all South Africans and closes on 30 September. To enter, just purchase any Shield product and send the last four digits of the barcode to *120*SHIELD# for a chance to win.