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Minaj – What It’s Like Being A Gay Footballer In SA

Puthi ‘Minaj’ Lekoloane has spoken about how it feels to be South Africa’s only openly gay footballer and insisted Mzansi’s football are not doing enough to fight homophobia.

The former Highlands Park and JDR Stars keeper was nicknamed ‘Minaj’ by the late John Shoes Mosheu after he found him twerking to American Rap star Nicki Minaj’s song in the dressing room.

Lekoloane spoke to iDiski Times writer Lethabo Kganyago in the latest edition of the news paper.

“Phuti is a boy who was born in Moletji Ga-Kolopo and then grew up in Tembisa in a township called Mayibuye,” he told iDiski Times.

“He is an openly gay footballer, and I think I like to describe myself as a man who risked it all to live his dream.”

Lekoloane also insisted that football administrators in South Africa are not ready for an open discussion around homophobia.

“No, I don’t think football is doing enough, especially in South Africa,” he explained.

“We are not ready, people are not comfortable, I mean people in power are not comfortable in having this kind of conversations.

“When I started the Games my approach was to go to PSL and SAFA (South African Football Association) and I realised people are not interested, hence I went back to grassroots and said let’s start there and maybe from there we will spark a broader conversation.”

He then also spoke about Australian footballer Josh Cavallo of Adelaide United, who became football’s only openly gay top-tier footballer recently.

“Coming out is a personal choice. I don’t think people have to come out, I didn’t have to come
out, but because of what I went through I had to come out not for myself but for future LGBTI athletes or footballers,” he said.

“So I don’t think anyone owes it to the public to come out.

“For me, it was a personal decision as a sacrificial lamb, that I’m going to take a stand, I’m going to create space for the next LGBTI athlete. I call out for Queer representation and visibility in football.”

You can read the full interview with Minaj in this week’s iDiski Times newspaper.

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