Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
2 minute read
13 Oct 2015
12:29 pm

Four players who swapped soccer for a song

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Football players are known for being multi-talented and having tried their luck at a few sporting codes before deciding to play soccer professionally. Some people unearth their talents as they grow older, or come across people who push them to explore this gift.

Steve Lekoelea and Jabu Mahlangu. Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Steve Lekoelea and Mzambia – Jersey No 10

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Steve “Chippa” Lekoelea was a popular figure for the Buccaneers in the late 90s and early 2000s. Lekoelea had a fallout with Pirates management over wage demands. During this time he would score and celebrate with a hand gesture suggesting he wants more money.

Chippa collaborated with then Kwaito golden Kid Mzambia, at a time when both of them were seen as the future of South African football and Kwaito respectively.

Jersey No 10 was a great success and took the pair to new heights.

 Doctor Khumalo and Bob Mabena – Get Funky

Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Doctor “16 Valve” Khumalo was a trendsetter in the 90s while playing for Amakhosi, Ferro Carril Oeste, and Columbus Crew. Khumalo was known for his silky skills on the ball and trendy haircuts.

He is the pioneer of football players trying their luck behind the mic, some being more successfully than others.

Bob Mabena’s raise to fame came when he was earmarked to host a Friday night music show called Studio Mix. When  Mabena went from  announcing songs on radio to creating his own music, he roped in his friend  16 Valve.

With two of the most celebrated men in the mid-90s, the song was a certified hit.

 Benni McCarthy and TKzee – Shibobo

Bafana Bafana player Benni McCarthy is the all-time top goal scorer for the South African national team. McCarthy was introduced into the national team by Jomo Sono making him the youngest player in the squad at the time.

Benni scored 32 goals for Bafana and is a highly decorated South African footballer, winning the Uefa Champions League with Porto and successful stints with several teams in Europe.

The trio of TKzee were the new kids of the block making everybody dance, McCarthy dominated sporting headlines while Tkzee dominated the entertainment scene.

The young Benni was on his way to the 1998 World Cup in France with Bafana. He had a great showing in the Afcon a few months before the World Cup. In true Mzansi style a song was recorded to honour the squad set to represent the nation at the World Cup.

McCarthy got into the thick of things and dropped a verse that any Kwaito/hip hop artist would like to claim.

 Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Swedish national anthem

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimović didn’t look too far to find his hit record, he chose the Swedish national anthem. Ibrahimović recorded his rendition of the national anthem, and hit the jackpot when the song was certified gold in Sweden.

It is said that three million people streamed Ibrahimović’s version of the anthem. This is the “most streamed song in Sweden,” says the striker.