Jayiya: “Football is a hobby that paid me”

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Bhongolethu Jayiya has made a startling claim that football for him has always been a hobby.

He was chatting to FARPost on Instagram Live recently.

“At the end of the day, football for me was a hobby that paid me which is good but I ended up enjoying it to a point that I actually forgot my purpose which is to understand that I want to make a difference in society with my education,” Jayiya told FARPost.

He’s been clubless since he parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs in May last year after struggling for a regular place in the ‘AmaKhosi’ side and the Soweto-born star has used the time away from the game to study.

Jayiya, however, has ensured that he remains in mint condition as he revealed that after the coronavirus pandemic, he will be making a return to the playing fields.

“After the pandemic, I am coming back, I wanted to take a break because I have been playing since 2010, I needed time to gather my thoughts and reflect,” – Jayiya. Picture: Instagram Jayiya.

“I am coming back, I don’t know if it’s the Absa Premiership, GladAfrica Championship or overseas but I am coming back. I have been training but you miss the intensity of football.

“I will come back to football. I am going to have fun, the money will come after, let me just go enjoy myself,” added Jayiya, who is studying for a Master’s Degree in Accounting through the distance learning institution, University of South Africa (Unisa).

Jayiya joined Chiefs from Cape Town City at the start of the 2017/18 campaign and made 20 appearances for the club, providing only two assists.

The 30-year-old winger has been a free agent for a year now. “Funny enough, I’ve been doing online courses, so I have been focusing on just education, and just trying to find means of getting another income and just studying, that’s the main thing I have been doing the whole year,” said Jayiya.

“I got a diploma in financial trading and investment, a diploma in sport nutrition, a diploma in sport and fitness and I am still doing my masters in accounting.

“My parents inspired me to study, they are my main inspiration, my dad was a journalist and my mom was a school teacher, so the educational part, came from them, the soccer part, came from my grandfather and my older brother,” he continued.

“So, I just decided to merge the two, have football and have education, see where it takes me. At the end of the day, is not like I didn’t want to carry on playing football, I wanted to take a break and relax, breathe, gather my thoughts, see where my mind is, where I want to go.

Jayiya scored the second quickest ever Premier Soccer League (PSL) hat-trick when he netted three times inside 10 minutes for City against Chippa United in April 2017. Picture: Jayiya Instagram.

“When I was still at Wits, I used to play and study and my career was booming and booming, my education fell back. So, after I stopped at Chiefs, there was nothing to do. Why don’t I go back to studying and see what I can do. Education gives you a new dimension in what you can do about life.

“Not  a lot of people know my life story, I went to a boarding school called Potchefstroom Boys, they don’t play football, so for about four years I didn’t play football at all, I played Cricket, Rugby and all of those other sports, my main focus was education. In cricket, I got national colours, North West colours, I got national colours for Hockey, I enjoyed it but for me it has always been education, changing the narrative of how to get educated.”

Jayiya realised after his Maritzburg United loan spell ended back in 2014 that he can actually turn his football ‘hobby’ into a fully fledged career.

“After I came back from my loan at Maritzburg, I had to make a decision, do I actually carry on, become a player that’s on the background of the team and carry on with my studies or do I just pursue my career.

“I decided to pursue my career in football and that’s when I signed for (Mpumalanga) Black Aces and I just took it from there, it went, it flourished… after Chiefs I decided to take a break, have some fun, go back to the basics, my basics was to get education, get the knowledge in the head, football is there to have fun,” concluded Jayiya.

RELATED STORY: Joining Chiefs from Sundowns was a bad move – Mphela

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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