The history of player recruitment can never be complete without the name Robertson Bennett ‘Chana’ Mehlomakhulu. ‘Chana’ or Mahlubi as he affectionately referred to in the football circle, represent a selfless, dedicated and humble football scout of our time.
FARPost pays a fitting tribute to this soft and talented giant, who boasts three decades of profound player scouting, rooted in the township recruitment approach endorsed by ‘Chana’ in particular.
a. Who is Mahlubi
Bennett Mehlomakhulu was born on 9th April 1957 and is a twin brother to Robertsham Mehlomakhulu. The two grew up together, and although Mahlubi invested his time heavily on football, his brother lives a different quite life in Daveyton. ‘Chana’ is mocked by young and old football enthusiasts in and around his neighbourhood, and can easily be confused as the Councillor of his ward.
b. Gallant servant of ‘Amakhosi’
He later joined Kaizer Chiefs Football Club in the early 1990s and have never looked back. As one of the senior kit managers in the ‘Amakhosi’ Youth Development Programme, his dedication and absolute commitment has ensured that the academy young brigades are well kitted and rightfully represent the brand in accordance with the values and ethos characteristic of the club forebears.
Together with Joseph Matebese, the pair has seen a continuous emergence of the next football greats at the club, that includes Itumeleng Khune, Bruce Bvuma, Njabulo Blom and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, just to mention a few.
c. Community developer
‘Chana’ in close association with Ntsikelelo Tshowa, and Humphrey Mlwane, organises a post season selected team that participate in the off-season tournament in Daveyton.
The team is coach by Tshowa and Mlwane, whilst ‘Chana’ recruit talent and is the Minister without portfolio. The trio pay for the affiliation, transport and food expenses of the players from their pocket, an act of Ubuntu in support of player development, football emancipation and sports social cohesion in the light of all challenges facing our youth players today.
Some of the players are assisted with transport and accommodation to attend trials and registration fees at various institutions of higher learning from the little financial reserves of Mahlubi and company.
d. Daveyton’s finest scout
Mahlubi’s scouting prowess and an eye for talent is second to none. He ranks amongst the finest scouts in South Africa, and will easily give the scouting maestro Jomo Sono, a good run for his money, with his relentless touch and understanding of the specific-player profiling ingredients sensitive to a Mzansi player.
Amongst the brilliant players scouted by Mahlubi and accelerated into the PSL, include:
1. Jabu Pule (Mahlangu)
2. Pollen Ndlaya
3. ‘Skaapie’ Malatsi
4. Junior Khanye
5. Clement Mazibuko
‘Chana’ is certainly the epitome of township scouting and Daveyton’s talent will never be on the map if it was not for his sharp recruitment eye and total belief in the raw potential of the marginalised young players.
RELATED STORY: Player Profile: Tshidiso Patjie
By FARPost’s Technical Study