Doctor Khumalo has – for the first time – revealed that he was earning a remarkable R8000 a month when he signed for Kaizer Chiefs as a teenager.
Speaking to the Siya crew at an event hosted by Diageo SA on how to curb the misuse of alcohol, especially by footballers, the former Amakhosi and Bafana Bafana legend opened up about his playing days and how his parents helped manage his finances.
“I have to say I am grateful to my parents for guiding me to the path that I was on from when I joined Chiefs at 16 and even today. I was getting R8000 a month and you can imagine how much money that was back then (1984),” Khumalo said on Thursday.
“I did not understand why my parents were taking charge of my own money. It wasn’t just the salary, it was some of the awards as well that would come with a R3000 prize money. They decided they will tell me how to use it.”
Khumalo said being the son of an ex-footballer (the late Eliakim ‘Pro’ Khumalo) also had its benefits and kept him on the straight and narrow.
“In his eyes I remained his boy and even when I wanted to go to the movies I had to ask for that money. He also had a close relationship with the chairman, Kaizer Motaung, and he, too, considered me his son – until today,” Khumalo, now 52, explained.
Nicknamed ’16 valve’ for his mesmerising skill, the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winner said it was only close to a decade later that he understood why his parents continued to treat him with kid gloves at a time when his fame and stature was growing.
“They made sure I don’t misuse or become abused by the money. I had a lot of friends at the time because of playing for Chiefs. I think that is why my career hit the ceiling and I started to blossom – I remained a boy to them still,” he said.