And now that he is coach at Amakhosi, he is yet to make any truly favourable memories.
In the past six matches against their biggest rivals, Chiefs are yet to win a league match against Pirates since Komphela took over almost two-and-a-half years ago.
But if his team’s performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns is anything to go by, Komphela may just get the Soweto derby monkey off his back. If things do not go well, however, the all too familiar “Steve must go” chants may erupt again.
In a rare move, supporters were given a chance to pose questions to the Chiefs and Pirates coaches during a media conference at Absa Contact Centre in Auckland Park on Thursday and a Chiefs fan wanted to know how Komphela survives the insults and calls for him to go which they shout at him whenever the team doesn’t do well.
In true Komphela style, the mentor gave an answer which sought to shield his emotions.
“You need a lot of discipline and it doesn’t only apply to Steve Komphela, it is a universal principle of life. If you are under siege, if there is a storm and there is a derby frying you have to focus, stay disciplined, keep smiling and silent, and you will find your way through,” he said.
“But the minute you are all over the place you will make elementary mistakes. You’d want to rectify something only to find you aggravate it. When you get a chance to explain it, make it a point that you explain it in a manner that is understood.
“And if you are not sure it will be understood properly, it is better you keep quiet and stick with your thoughts and keep pushing forward,” he added.
Komphela now goes into tomorrow afternoon’s match with a little breathing space.