Once star of the pitch, Chillies goes kwaito

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Former soccer star Thabang Lebese has taken on a new lease of life - as a kwaito performer.

Lebese is a former Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Ria Stars and Moroka Swallows player who also played for Bafana Bafana.

When the history books are written his contribution to the national game is bound to be acknowledged.

But the 36-year-old dribbling wizard is now doing his thing in the music world and has just released a debut album, So Good. His soccer nickname, "Chillies", is now his stage name.

Chillies' first single, AmaParasites, deals with his former life as a soccer star.

"During my soccer days there were so many people who I thought were my friends but I only realised much later that they were just using me.

"As soon as I lost my two cars and my house, they quickly disappeared from my life and I had to face life alone.

"My songs are about having fake friends who are only interested in sucking your blood and then leave you when you are no longer able to provide for them."

Chillies says he first realised his singing abilities when he used to hang out with rap and kwai singer Ghetto Son, who hails from Durban.

"We used to hang around at the studio and he asked me to sing a couple of tunes.

"I did so and he convinced me I could one day become aperformer.

"After what I have been through and with me now taking a new venture in life, I realise that God definitely works in mysterious ways.

"God blesses you with a talent but when you become a role model and start to behave badly, people who truly love you will tell you that you are going astray."