Growing up in Khayelitsha township was never easy for Chippa United skilful midfielder, Mark Mayambela, but the poor background never stopped him from realising his dream of playing professional football.
“Growing up in the township is difficult. Khayelitsha is different to other townships. When we were growing up, the people we looked up to were gangsters and drug dealers. In Khayelitsha, the only thing that made a person relevant to other people was either carrying a gun or a knife. That’s the only thing we grew up knowing as the youth of Khayelitsha at the time.
“Football helped me to get away from all that. When my friends went to parties on weekends, I went to football games and camps. Many of the people in the township were shocked because they never saw it coming, then all of a sudden I had signed for Celtic!” said Mayambela.
What lessons can aspiring footballers who are currently experiencing tough times in the township learn from Mayambela’s example?
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