Two coaches, two legends and two current top-flight footballers yesterday spoke out and condemned the misuse of alcohol in their fraternity.
At an event hosted by Diageo SA in Johannesburg, coaches Steve Komphela and Gordon Igesund were joined by Doctor Khumalo, Jabu ‘Shuffle’ Mahlangu, Hlompho Kekana and the youngest of the panel – Teboho Mokoena.
Check out the gallery of yesterday's event
The six of them shared stories of how all kinds of substance abuse had affected them personally or indirectly over the years.
Komphela said: “There’s nothing wrong with alcohol, but have a limit and know when to say it’s enough. This is a reflection of our society and we would be lying to think only people on this podium can talk about this subject.”
Igesund shared a story of how, while coach of Moroka Swallows, he constantly had to deal with a player who was battling with alcohol abuse – Lerato Chabangu.
“People know that we helped him turn his life around at the time. I don’t know where he is now, but he was a talented player but had this constant struggle,” the ex-Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Santos coach said.
Khumalo added that when he joined Kaizer Chiefs as a 16-year-old he was suddenly surrounded by hangers on, but learnt very quickly about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
But Mahlangu said he wasn’t so fortunate and had a short career because he could not stop drinking even at the height of his career.
“I grew up in a broken home, where my father abused my mother. So alcohol was the only thing I knew, even after I had signed for Chiefs,” he said.
Kekana and Mokoena are still playing for Sundowns and SuperSport United respectively, and said they were inspired by the stories of the coaches and legends.