'We are poorer without Nkanyiso': Arrows fallen player mourned

The community of Cato Ridge between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in KwaZulu-
Natal will never be the same without deceased Golden Arrows defender Nkanyiso Mngwengwe.

This is the sentiment of bereaved Cape Town City skipper Thamsanqa Mkhize, who hails from Cato Ridge as Mngwengwe.

Mngwengwe, 30, passed away in the early hours of yesterday on his way to a Pietermaritzburg hospital.

The centre-back's brother Mphathi Mngwengwe was quoted by KZN media as saying the Arrows defender was shaking before he was taken to hospital. The real cause of his death remains a mystery.

Mngwengwe's homeboy and close friend Mkhize described the late defender as a good role model to all the kids in the area, feeling the Cato Ridge community will be poorer without him.

"Sgora [as Mngwengwe was affectionately known] was a disciplined individual. Our community in Cato Ridge lost a true role model for our kids. The community will never be the same without Nkanyiso," Mkhize said.

Mkhize and Mngwengwe usually co-stage football tournaments during festive seasons. The Citizens' captain has vowed to continue with this initiative to honour Mngwengwe.

"The tournament will live on, I promise. We must now organise it in his name, honour his legacy," noted Mkhize.

The Bafana Bafana right-back had last contacted Mngwengwe via a WhatsApp text on Sunday, unbeknown to him that it was the last time he had sent him a message. Sadly, the text didn't receive a reply. It's another local boy in AmaZulu striker Bongi Ntuli who broke the tragic news to Mkhize.

"I sent him a text yesterday [Sunday] to check if he was fine amid Covid-19.

"Strangely, he never replied until Bongi told me the sad news this morning. I wish he replied to chat for the last time," Mkhize reflected.

"We'd just text each other weekly. I will miss my boy. He was a responsible family man; an ambitious footballer... rest easy sosha lami [my warrior]."

Mphathi told Sowetan yesterday: "Nkanyiso was a family-oriented person. We will wait for postmortem examination, but ngathi yiyo yona inhliziyo [it looks like a heart attack]."

Golden Arrows owner Mato Madlala, in a statement, paid tribute to the former skipper.

"I am saddened by the passing away of Nkanyiso. I remember when he first arrived at Arrows as a promising footballer, full of energy, he was always ready to fight," she said.

Mngwengwe's fact file

Born: October 10 1989 in Cato Ridge, KZN

Mngwengwe played 113 top-flight games, with three goals for Arrows

He made his Arrows debut at 23 under then coach Manqoba Mngqithi in 2013

Sgora skippered Arrows last season, but had not played even one match this season

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