If a talent scout was looking for the next best boxer in the country, chances are South Africans will be in unison pointing them to a township in Eastern Cape.
No township in South Africa has produced more boxing champions than Mdantsane. The township has produced over 50 national champions and over 20 international champions including Vuyani Bungu, Welcome Ncita and Zolani Tete among others.
However, when it comes to football, talent is spread across all the townships and towns. A drive to Soweto might get you a Doctor Khumalo or Teko Modise. A trip to Tembisa will score you a Themba Zwane while heading further to the east will have you bump into Jabu Mahlangu nee Pule in Daveyton. To the coast of the country, a relentless Siyabonga Nomvete will come out of Kwa-Mashu. Landing in Hanover Park, you are in the 18 area – Benni McCarthy.
Using quantity and quality as a yardstick, FARPost lists the Top 10 Kasis (or towns) to have produced top talents in South Africa.
It’s not surprising that Soweto is number one. This is the largest township in South Africa. Places such as Orlando, Meadowlands, Dlamini, Zola, Senaone, Moletsane, Diepkloof, Chiawelo, Rockville, Dobsonville, Pimville and other areas have produced top players. Think Doctor Khumalo, Tso Vilakazi, Jabu Mululeke, Yeye Letsholonyane, Godfrey Sapula, Excellent Walaza, Dikgang Mabalane, Josta Dladla, Thulani Serero, Teko Modise, Dikgang Mabalane, Gift Leremi, Arthur Zwane, Linda Mntambo, Sibusiso Vilakazi and the list is endless.
Popularly known for producing a man with a sweet left foot – Shakes Khungoane, Alex or Gomora is a home of legends. What about the acrobatic Brian Baloyi? Maimane Phiri, Benson Mhlongo, Mpho Makola, Letladi Madubanya, Patrick Phungwayo, Lebogang Manyama, Ceasar Maphalla, Zama Rambuwane? Lucky Maselesele and a host of others have put this north of Joburg township on the map.
South Africa’s most skillful players Jabu Mahlangu (Pule), Junior Khanye, and Skappie Malatsi hail from this most famous township in the east of Johannesburg. Most players from this kasi have what they call ‘shugela’ or ‘pencil’ in Kasi Lingo. The likes of Musa Nyatama, Sibusiso Mahlangu, Pollen Ndlanya, Clement Mazibuko, Mxolisi Gumede and others call Daveyton home.
- The Vaal
Though the Vaal is known for producing astute football administrators, decent players have come out of the area too. Bafana’s all-time record holder for most appearances – Aaron ‘Mbazo’ Mokoena (with 107), Bennett Chenene, Steve Lekoelea, Lucky Mhlathe, Avril Phali, Papi and Nhlanhla Zothwane, Abia Nale , Daniel ‘Sailor’ Tshabalala, Reuben Thebakang, Bongane Twala, Bongani Theletsane, Tshidiso Tukane, and a host of others.
One of the PSL greats – Siyabonga Nomvete leads an array of stars from this famous township KwaZulu Natal. He is joined by Siboniso Gaxa, Siyanda Xulu, Sibusiso Khumalo, Ntokozo Sikhakhane, Nhlanhla Zwane and others.
The hottest footballer out of Tembisa at the moment ought to be Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns. However, ‘Mshishi’ is not the only one putting the township on the map. There were others before him like Jerry Sikhosana, Tsietsi Mahoa, Lerato Chabangu, Gift Sithole, Themba Shabalala, Mthokozisi Yende and the late Dumisani Masilela. Now there’s George Maluleka, Motjeka Madisha and Mzi Mashaba among others.
Some years ago, Mamelodi Sundowns used to be dominated by locals. However currently in their squad there’s have only one player – Lucky Mohomi hailing from the township the club is named after. A number of players who set the scene alight in the PSL come from Mams – George Lebese, Daniel Mudau, Joel ‘Fire’ Masilela, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Koketso Mmotong, Themba Mnguni and Joas Magolego among others.
Julius Malema may arguably be the most popular person from this township but there are footballers who have cemented Seshego’s name on the South African map. A tough as teak defender Gerald ‘Mgababa’ Raphahlela is one of the football stars who made a mark in the PSL. Other famous footballers from Seshogo include Masilo Modubi, Vincent Kobola, Tlou Molekwane, Kgaogelo Sekgotha, Mahlatse Makudubela, Raymond Monama, Rufus Makoti and Kgasago Banda among others.
- Mitchell’s Plain
This Kasi is the leading football factory in Cape Town. The likes of Moeneeb Josephs, Robyn Johannes, Cole Alexander, Dominic Issacs, Ahsraf Hendricks, Wayne Arendse, Romano and Carl Scott, Rudi Isaacs, Aidan Jenniker, Graham King, Shane Poggenpool and a host of others call Mitchell’s Plain home.
The remarkable thing about Umlazi is that it is home to two former Bafana Bafana goalkeepers – Brilliant Nhlanhla Khuzwayo and the late Senzo Meyiwa. The place is also home to Japhet Zwane, Sandile Zuke, Philani Khwela, Calvin Sosibo and Sthembiso Dlamini among others.
By Hosea Ramphekwa