Lucky Baloyi: Sheriff rides back into old hometown
Soccer star Lucky Baloyi is not the type to forget where he comes from and regularly visits his old school in Polokwane.
Born in Mokopane 26 years ago, the Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder attended Ditlalemeso High School in Mankweng during the time he was with Tshiamo Sports Academy, which was also home to the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Hlompho Kekana and Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
Baloyi moved to Meadowlands High School in Soweto, where he completed his matric after joining the Kaizer Chiefs' youth team in 2005.
But, whenever "Sheriff", (a nickname he's earned on the field of play,) is in Polokwane, he likes taking a short drive to Mankweng, also known as Turfloop, to greet his former teachers and, most importantly, engage with the pupils.
"Like recently, I had to sort out some things for my family in Polokwane," Baloyi told Sunday World.
"So .I decided to go visit my old school. When I'm there, I also have a chance to chat to the school kids. You see, we have different talents and I encourage them to do their best with their talents.
"For people from my province, we don't have the same opportunities as say people from Gauteng, but we have the talent and look at players we have, the likes of Hlompho [Kekana], and we have teams in the province, so we shouldn't look down on ourselves.
"We have to show our talents, be it in football, music, so I like having chats like that with the school kids to encourage them. With me, they see that things are possible, that you can be whoever you want to be.
"For those that have made it, we must still pay them a visit, so they don't only see us on TV.
"You are dealing with kids, so sometimes they do things thinking they are right, but only to find they are doing the wrong things.
"So, that's where we should come in and show them the way," Baloyi said.