Kaizer Chiefs rising star Nkosingiphile Ngcobo admits that in the beginning, he found it hard to accept the reality of the coronavirus pandemic as he had just returned to action after nine months on the sidelines with an Achilles tendon injury.
Ngcobo believes that he was making good progress with Amakhosi’s Multichoice Diski Challenge side before Covid-19 forced the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the South African Football Association (SAFA) to suspend football in the country indefinitely with the government implementing a nationwide lockdown.
“The hardest part about this lockdown is that it happened when I was making good progress. I was getting ready and happy to be back on the field,” said Ngcobo.
“At first it was challenging and really hard to accept the situation. I changed my daily routine and got used to being indoors at all times. As much as it is hard, I think there are some positives out of it such as developing new skills,” added Ngcobo.
“This situation has taught me that things do not always go your way or the way you planned. You just have to accept and adapt. It’s always important to keep focus on your goals.
“I can’t forget making a return to the first team after almost a year’s absence. The game against Maritzburg United was very difficult but I enjoyed it. The stadium was full, and the atmosphere was great. I was very happy to return and play in that game,” revealed the former ‘Glamour Boys’ MDC side captain.
Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is one of the few coaches who are not shy and brave enough to give first team opportunities to youngsters. The German mentor gave Ngcobo, affectionately known as ‘Mshini’, his debut.
“In terms of creativity, Ngcobo is one of the best players I have ever seen,” said Middendorp.
Ngcobo, who is a law student at the University of South Africa (Unisa), says he has learnt how to cook and enjoys preparing different meals every day.
“I spend three hours studying every day from Monday to Friday. I divide it into one hour in the morning, midday, and night”.
Ngcobo’s recipe of choice: Spaghetti, tomato soup, and hake. Hake dipped into eggs, flour, fish spices, olive oil and spice.
“We will be paying tribute to the learners who stood up against the apartheid government. We must observe this month by upping our game in terms of improving and taking responsibility for our actions. We must use this month as a reminder that young people were at the forefront of change in our country.
“We miss the ‘Amakhosi’ faithful, but we will be back soon. The supporters must stay home and safe. We love them so much and can’t wait to see them after we have gone past this moment,” concluded the Chiefs midfielder.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi