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Megastar midfielder lets us in on what makes him tick

Teko Modise on love, soccer and his secret talent


From killing it on the pitch back in the days as a superstar midfielder who was highly celebrated by many South Africans to finding the true meaning of self-love, football legend Teko Modise showed many how having a positive fighting spirit gets you through many trials and tribulations. 

Having faced personal struggles in the public eye, Modise told us how going through such trials made him realise how strong of a person he is.

We caught up with Modise to find out what makes him tick.  

With your impressive career, what have you learnt about yourself? 

I am actually stronger than I thought I was… that was one thing I struggled with when I was a kid because I didn’t know how strong I was until I was really really tested.  And, coming back from that and realising that I have survived what many couldn’t survive.

What makes you laugh?

Yoh! That’s one difficult question because I love making people laugh. I love cracking jokes… I’m not a serious person. I know I look serious but I’m not!

What hidden talent do you have?

I cook very well. People don’t believe I can cook but I can make anything. Like for me, a Sunday dish can be cooked by anyone, I grew up thinking people who can cook several colours can cook until I started tasting good food. I’m not saying I’m like a chef but I can pull off a decent feast - I’m a food lover that’s the thing.

What the worst lie you’ve ever told?

Telling someone I loved them when I didn’t! I think I lie because I was trying to convince myself that I was in love with that person when I wasn’t. So, I ended up saying something I didn’t believe in. I said it in passing not knowing the true meaning behind it, that’s why I still remember it to this day. But I have said a lot of "I love yous” that I meant hence I remember the one I didn’t.

What makes you angry or grumpy?

Look, I’m not a morning person. So, whoever talks a lot in the morning irritates me. But what makes me grumpy is when people don’t play their part or not coming through or going against what they said. If you promised to do something, do it!

What is your love language?

I am not too big on gifts but if I do, I go all out! But I am normally about the connection. Having been a football player that was loved by South Africans I was exposed to love in so many ways, so now that I have experienced love, I look for love in different ways.

What do you look forward to doing every day?

Every day is different for me. So, one thing I always look forward to doing is trying to make the most of my day because what this Covid-19 time has taught us, is to appreciate every moment - anybody can go at any time! And for the fact that we are still here, that’s a precious gift!

Where do you go to collect your thoughts?

Cape Town! That’s the city that helped me to find myself back in the day. Cape Town changed a lot of things that needed to be changed and I wasn’t going to be able to do that while I was in Joburg. It’s one of those places I respect so much… while everyone uses it for holidays, I know it has done for me spiritually, emotionally and in general as a person. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Cape Town. Every day has a different view in Cape Town.

If you could pause any moment in your life, which moment would it be?

I think my last game where I retired as a professional football player. It meant so much for me and the support I got on that day is something I never actually anticipated.

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