Soccer Laduma’s ‘In Touch’ & ‘Still In Touch’ feature has been a fan favourite for almost two decades in Soccer Laduma’s weekly newspaper.
Millions of readers turn to it first each week to read the crazy stories that Mzansi’s former players tell and to see current soccer stars dish the dirt on their teammates and coaches.
Over the years, together with our readers, we have laughed uncontrollably and gasped with disbelief at stories that have never been told before!
Due to the incredible success and reading pleasure over the years and the timeless nature of this incredible content, Soccer Laduma has dug through the archives to bring back to life some of the gems you may have missed, or simply want to re-read and share with your friends.
This week, we look back to 6 January 2010 in issue number 652, where Timothy ‘RDP’ Nkosi continues with his blast from the past, regaling us about a time when he stole a teammate’s passport and flight ticket at an airport thousands of kilometres from home. The well-travelled former midfielder also shares his most embarrassing moment. Read on!
TIMOTHY NKOSI (PART 2)
Timothy Nkosi, who revealed some juicy stories in the last edition about his escapades with girls and his troubles with Dynamos boss Pat Malabela, is back on these pages. The former Real Rovers star is currently a salesman and says he misses the action big time!
Compliments of the season, RDP! Tell us about this big secret you’ve been keeping to yourself all these years!
Ha, ha, eish…my man. I hope this guy won’t be angry with me, but they say time heals all wounds. I was still at SuperSport United and we were going to play an African Champions League game in Libya. There were no direct flights from South Africa to Libya, so we had to go via Switzerland and England. We were being coached by Bruce Grobbelaar, assisted by Pitso Mosimane. We played there and made our way back to Heathrow Airport in England. When we got there, Raymond Seopa took his passport and air ticket and put it in my jacket to keep it safe as he was taking photographs with the likes of Phil Evans. Raymond was a very naughty boy. When we boarded the plane back, he was looking for his passport and ticket and couldn’t find them. To be honest, I also completely forgot he had put it inside my jacket. I only remembered it when I was already on the flight. He had to stay behind with Pitso. They had to make arrangements so he could get another passport quickly. Raymond returned after two days, ha, ha, ha. Meanwhile, while I was on the flight, I took the stuff out and put it my toiletry bag, but I had to be careful that no one saw me. To this day, no one knows the passport and air ticket were with me, not even my teammates! This is the first time this is coming out. I hope the boy won’t kill me, ha, ha! Eish, he was crying when we left him there with Pitso.
Tell us more about the coaches you’ve worked with.
At Pretoria City I suffered an embarrassing moment under Dave Jones. I was introduced in the second half and was immediately taken out. The worst thing is that the game was live on TV! I’ll never forget that moment! Another one is when Tebogo Moloi gave me a shibobo. I came in towards the end of the game and I was anxious. I wanted to touch the ball. We were trailing by one goal. The ball went to Tebogo near our bench and I came running towards him and he gave me a shibobo. The whole stadium stood up. Then the final whistle blew, but I didn’t hear it and I kept chasing the ball and everyone was laughing at me. The other players had already begun greeting each other. That game was also live on TV and I wondered how I was going to face the people back in my township after that incident.
Ha, ha, ha! Carry on…
I also played with Abram ‘Rambo’ Khwenenyane and that boy was a character. He was very young but had a huge body. He was a shy person but when he had a few drinks he would start acting big. If you were a short guy and he stood in front of you, you would get scared. He could knock you down any minute! Then there was Dumisani Mhlongo, who was a goalkeeper. We were coached by Shepherd Murape at Real Rovers and the boss was Mr Masitela. We hadn’t been paid that month and we were very hungry. We decided to go to Mr Masitela’s house in Mahwelereng, not far from where we trained. We didn’t realise that Dumisani was drunk that day. It was late at night and Mr Masitela was sleeping. We knocked and he asked, “Who are you?” Dumisani said, “Hey, wake up! Don’t ask.” The boss thought we were thieves and I then said, “It’s me RDP, Abram Kutu and Dumisani.” He opened and, to our surprise, there were no chairs there. It was just buckets full of water. You could see the man was struggling.
Maybe because he owed people money, bomashonisa came and took his chairs!
Ha, ha, ha! Dumisani said, “You have no chairs. We’re going to sit in this sgubhu of yours.” The funny thing is that water was leaking from the buckets and the house became waterlogged. He used candles for light. Dumisani told him, “Hey, we want food, open the fridge.” When he went to open the fridge, there was only water and no food! Ha, ha, ha! Then Mr Masitela told us that he was trying by all means to pay us and would do so the following week. We left and the following day Mr Masitela became scared. He didn’t even talk about that incident.
Tell us more about your team mates
I was friends with Gerald Raphahlela. When I arrived at Dynamos, he didn’t have friends. He would come to training and then go back home. We clicked and started hanging out together. When Raphahlela bought something new, he wanted you to notice it and shower him with praise. This one time he came to our place with a yellow Toyota Cressida. As we sat and chatted, he was wondering to himself why I wasn’t saying anything about the car. He then said, “I’m going, see you tomorrow.” I then said, “Ja, see you, man.” He said, “Don’t tell me ‘see you, man’. Khuluma, ndoda (talk, man).” I told him I had seen the car and that it was a car for old men. He said I was jealous, ha, ha. I finally said to him, “Well done” and he was satisfied.
You were also very close to Alex Bapela.
He was a great footballer. We once had an opportunity to go to Turkey. Steve Komphela had played for one of the teams there and their scouts were watching our game against Sundowns in the Coca-Cola Cup. They were impressed with the two of us. We heard that in the media and went to ask our management about it and they confirmed it. The club wanted us on a six-month loan and were going to fork out R300 000. The other players went to Mr Masitela to complain that the club was going to be relegated if they let us leave. He bought into that and dilly-dallied with the Turkish team. Barnes didn’t take it well. We went to camp for a game against African Wanderers and he was my roommate. He said to me, “Madala, I’m going. I’m not even going to eat breakfast.” His home was not far from where we had camped. He packed his stuff and headed for the gate…no one saw him. When we went for breakfast, the coach noticed that Barnes wasn’t there and asked me where he was. I explained to him that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that if my home wasn’t so far away, I’d also have left. They went to fetch Barnes at home and he didn’t want to talk to them. They then talked to his father and he managed to get him to come back. You should have seen him play that day! We were trailing by two goals and Barnes single-handedly won us the game. The final score was 4-3. After the game he told us it was his last game and that he was going to Sundowns. That’s how he left the team.
STILL IN TOUCH FUN FACTS:
Best player I’ve ever faced:
Roger Feutmba & Doctor Khumalo
Best player I’ve played with: Alex Bapela
Biggest pay cheque: R10 000
Smallest pay cheque: R500
Former team that used the most muti: Moroka Swallows
Favourite current player: Teko Modise & Elias Pelembe
Current occupation: Primedia F2F marketing and salesman
Former teams: Witbank Aces,Pretoria City, Moroka Swallows, Bush Bucks, Real Rovers, Ria Stars, Dynamos, SuperSport United