mabalane no typical footballer

HE HAS the looks of an innocent boy but Dikgang Mabalane possesses electrifying pace that makes even the fittest defenders look ordinary.

It's hard to believe that the slightly built winger from Soweto turned 30 last month. Unlike many of his fellow players, the "Terminator" realises the importance of education and is studying sports administration. He took time out to talk to us.

Q: How old were you when you started playing professional football?

A: I was about 17 and it was very interesting for me because I was also doing my matric at Barnato High School in Berea, Johannesburg. It was just very exciting to study and earn money at the same time.

Q:Who did you grow up supporting?

A: Everyone at home supported Kaizer Chiefs and naturally I also supported them.

Q: Who was your childhood role model?

A: There were quite a few of them. People like Tebogo Moloi, Donald "Ace" Khuse, Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio. I could go on and on.

Q: If money was not an issue, which car would you be driving?

A: It would be a Maybach. I'd also get someone to drive me around. The other one would be a Bentley GT Continental.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: It would have to be France. I have been there a couple of times and I can't get it out of my mind.

Q: If you could choose between Tebogo Moloi and Doctor Khumalo, who would you choose?

A: It would have to be Tebogo because I was very close to him when he was with us at Cosmos. I got to know him well, but both of them were great players.

Q: If you could invite five famous people over for dinner, who would they be?

A: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Diego Maradona and Jomo Sono.

Q: If you could bring one famous person back from the dead, who would it be?

A: It would be Gandhi. The man was so smart and I would have loved to have known him.

Q: Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

A: It was my daughter, Leruo Mabalane.

Q: Who is your all-time favourite musician?

A: It's a guy called Yanni from Greece. He might not be very popular here but he makes timeless music.

Q: What is your favourite song?

A: It's Renegade by Yanni and also Renegade by Jay-Z and Eminem.

Q: Who is your favourite actor?

A: Anthony Hopkins.

Q: What is your favourite movie?

A: Apocalypto, but my all-time favourite is Napoleon Dynamite.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: If I'm not studying, I hang out with my boys in Diepkloof. I also stay at home and watch movies.

Q: Do you remember when you had your first kiss?

A. Yeah, it was with my wife a long time ago.

Q: Any embarrassing moments on or off the field?

A. It was when we beat Chiefs in the Coca-Cola Cup final in 2002 and their fans started throwing missiles on the pitch. It was just bad and unnecessary.

Q: Has a defender said anything negative to you to try to put you off the game?

A: I think it was Gerald Raphahlela. He told me not to try and go past him as he would kick me to pieces. Guess what I did.