Ex-Bidvest Wits player Calvin Kadi has paid tribute to fellow ex-professional Nhlanhla Shabalala for saving his life while he was on the verge of committing suicide.
Kadi made the revelations on his personal Facebook page.
The 32-year-old claims that he was kicking heels and feeling hopeless after losing his scholarship at the University of Pretoria in 2003 before Shabalala came to the rescue.
“In 2003 April after I had lost my scholarship at Tuks, I was forced to stay at home kicking my heels and feeling hopeless, as I was on the verge of committing suicide in December,” reads the post.
“You did not only visit me at my home to offer me a word of encouragement including few Ajax (Cape Town) apparels but you whipped my a*$ after the motivational talks like who does such bra!!?” wrote Kadi in an emotional post.
“Five months later I signed my 1st Pro contract with Cosmos so Nhlanhla Shabalala my brother, not only did you play your heart out at the top level for more than 10 years and being a versatile player and Mr reliable for Ajax, but I wouldn’t have fulfilled my football dreams if it was not for you and the words of encouragement when I was suicidal.
“You also inspired many young players ekasi and proved that it is indeed possible to become anything you desire. Many saw you as a holding midfielder but some of us were fortunate enough to witness you as a striker/centre forward, the aggression, the power, strength, speed and an eye for goal.”
In his football career Kadi played for Jomo Cosmos, SuperSport United, Veria (Greece), Portimonense (Portugal) and was last in the books of Bidvest Wits in 2019.
*Nhlanhla Shabalala is a former Professional who played for Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu. He is the current Secretary General of the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU).
By Ofhani Munyai