Former Kaizer Chiefs playmaker Siphiwe Tshabalala has revealed how he was scammed out of his hard-earned money during his glittering football career.
He is known for that one goal in 2010, his trademark dreadlocks and more than a decade firing down the wing at Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. Siphiwe Tshabalala, or ‘Shabba’ as he is affectionately known by his fans, sat down with broadcaster and fellow Kaizer Chiefs legend, Brian Mathe, in the first episode of Nedbank Reality Football, a series of tell-all conversations delving into the lives, defining moments and even money choices of some of South Africa’s greatest ever footballers.
During the conversation, Tshabalala shares stories of his footballing journey, challenging experiences, mentors and the story behind his signature dreadlock hairstyle. But Tshabalala also reflects on how he was scammed along his journey.
‘Through the Nedbank Reality Football series, we aim to encourage footballers and fans to share their stories of the beautiful game, reflect on the importance of sound money management and partner with a trusted financial services provider to ensure sustainable long-term financial well-being. Over the past 15 years of our sponsorship of the Nedbank Cup, we have maintained our objective of using football as a catalyst to drive financial education for a sustainable future,’ says Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive of Group Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank.
In discussing how he was able to manage his money successfully throughout his career, the better money choices he made and the help he received from various people, Tshabalala explained that having a mentor is key.
‘You need someone that you respect to such an extent that you are scared to make mistakes and scared to spend – because they will ask you what you did with that money. So you need that person who will always give you a push. We (as footballers) are in an environment where we are exposed to so many things, there’s lots of temptation. So you can imagine that if you have money, there’s a lot that you can do wrong, instead of thinking: investment,’ he said.
When prompted on who those key mentors in his career were, his answer was clear: his former manager, Steve Kompela.
‘For me, Steve is not just a football coach – he’s a life coach, a reflection to one’s self and he also brings in that brother figure element. His journey is authentic and relatable. Apart from that, the man is intelligent, you learn a lot from Steve and when he speaks you need to pay attention. The agenda may seem like its football, but you get more than that – you get advice on life in general. So, he’s someone that I respect and enjoy talking to, because I know the wisdom that I get from him,’ said Tshabalala.
Money discussions are often a topic that South Africans shy away from but Tshabalala feels that these types of discussions must happen more frequently. Therefore, he called on footballers to help normalise talking about money in our society.
‘We are representing sport, so should have these kinds of discussions often. I want to give credit to Nedbank for giving us this opportunity to share our stories. My hope is that this becomes an ongoing thing, it should be permanent,’ says Tshabalala.
However, when talking about how he was able to overcome adversity to force his way into the Kaizer Chiefs Academy, it was clear where his pride really beamed through.
‘Persist until you succeed’ is the mantra he lives by and what summed up his journey to the top.
Watch the first episode of Nedbank Reality Football below to hear he Shabba opens up about being scammed out of his earnings during his playing career.