City life far hasn't changed Thamsanqa Mkhize

Thamsanqa Mkhize with his son Lisa at his rural
Thamsanqa Mkhize with his son Lisa at his rural
Image: Supplied

Living in far-off Cape Town has not changed the traditionalist in Thamsanqa Mkhize.

The Cape Town City right back grew up in KwaXimba, a rural area near Cato Ridge - between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. And by his own admission, he is a traditionalist who has not been influenced by modern trends.

He still practises all the traditions he grew up with, like slaughtering goats during traditional ceremonies.

"Being a footballer has not changed who I am. I am still a local boy when I am at home. I go to the veld to look after my father's cattle. I am a traditionalist, I listen and dance to maskandi music and I still perform rituals like most Zulus.

"At home, we slaughter goats for rituals," Mkhize said.

"I live in Cape Town, yes, but that does not mean I have forgotten that I am a rural boy.

"Ngisewumfana okhuliswe ngesintu (I am still that boy who was taught traditional values). I will not change."

In numerous orthodox Zulu households, as an unmarried son, when your father is still alive, all the material possessions you acquire when you are working, especially livestock, are put under your father's name.

Mkhize's mènage is no different in observing those customs. His wealth is his family's.

"I have bought goats and cows but I can't say they are mine because my father is still alive. All the things I own are his, in that sense," stated the former Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United player.

Being the only professional footballer in his village worries the Bafana Bafana defender who has earned two caps.

Last year he launched a tournament aimed at unearthing raw talent in Cato Ridge.

"My tournament is aimed at discovering players who will follow in my footsteps. I work with people like Mandla Ncikazi [Arrows assistant coach] and Siyabonga Nkosi [retired Kaizer Chiefs player and television pundit].

"I invite them to come and look for talented youngsters who have the potential to make it big in football and perhaps they get the opportunity to play overseas and put Cato Ridge on the map."

Mkhize, the father of a two-year-old boy, can be seen driving around his rural home village in his Toyota Corolla.

He said it was car he could afford.

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