Former Kaizer Chiefs captain Tefu Mashamaite wants to change the complexion of sports in the country.
Through his recently launched company – The Collective Sports Agency (TCSA), Mashamaite wants to play a role in managing and bettering the lives of athletes from various sporting codes.
“The aim is to start with soccer because I am more equipped with knowledge in terms of my experience with soccer. In the long term, we are planning to move to other sporting codes. I am the founder and the director but I’ve got partners who prefer to be a bit in the background,” Mashamaite told FARPost.
The former tough as nails defender is aware that it won’t be a walk in the park in this line of business, where it’s as competitive as it gets.
“It’s a road less traveled but I know a couple of guys (former players) that are doing it unofficially. I just had to take a bold move and say you know what it’s also a viable business that someone can follow. I know I’m going to meet a lot of challenges because it’s a road less traveled. It’s an uncharted path but life is all about facing challenges sometimes. I’ve had to overcome challenges to be a professional footballer so hopefully God will just guide me through this one as well,” he said.
The 2014/15 PSL Footballer of the Season says the focus of his agency will be to ensure that their clients get decent contracts, endorsements, enhance their brands, pursue education, and receive media training among other things. Mashamaite revealed that they will also tackle player apathy when it comes to things that can enhance their careers during and post their playing days.
“I’ve seen a situation where some agents have tried to introduce certain programs to players but players were not as responsive you know. But if you go out to find a player that you know they are all about development, academics or something positive, it’s easier for you to introduce whatever you want to introduce to them,” said the former Bidvest and SuperSport United defender.
With TCSA in full force, running like a well-oiled machine, gone will be the days where footballers will be exploited. Mashamaite, who holds a degree in International Relations and Politics from Wits University, knows that it’s going to take time till the playing fields are levelled for scales to tilt in the favour of athletes from a commercial perspective.
“It’s something that you cannot just crack when you are still trying to find your feet in the market but going forward it is stuff that needs to be addressed. To say you know what there is there is a certain element of exploitation that is happening here and we need to address that. It’s not only in football but it’s just happening all over the country. I mean we come from that culture of exploitation. I believe that with education and creating awareness within the stable and trying to engage all the stakeholders, we can come to some kind of agreement as to how we can progress past these challenges,” said the 36-year-old.
By Hosea Ramphekwa