Mpho Maruping mixes business and play

Mpho Maruping, now with Free State Stars, shows off his own brand of bottled water.
Mpho Maruping, now with Free State Stars, shows off his own brand of bottled water.

It was a horrific knee injury in 2012 that triggered the business acumen from within Mpho Maruping to come out.

During that lengthy career-threatening and life-changing injury during his time at University of Pretoria, popularly known as AmaTuks, Maruping had some time to reflect on his future.

"It was a tough time, the doctors told me that there was a chance I would not play football again," Maruping said.

"So when I was injured that's when the business-minded side of me kicked in because I realised that I could get injured any time and be out of a job any time."

Today not only is Maruping's football career back on track, he is the proud owner of a water business called Purely Hydr8d.

The Free State Stars midfielder runs the business with his wife, mainly from their shop at Birchleigh North Mall in Kempton Park.

"My wife is the one overseeing things while I am in the Free State. I am very much involved as I operate through the phone with my team at the shop to make sure everything is alright," he said.

"We also package water for clients who want their own branded water for weddings, parties and so on. We do their labelling and print their own labelling for purified water," the 26-year-old said.

While most of his peers splurge their money on luxury cars and fashion, the Tembisa-born ace used his earnings from football to start his own establishment.

"I started the business using the signing-on fees that I had been saving over the years to buy equipment.

"In future we hope to be able to supply PSL clubs with bottled water. That is one thing we are looking to do."

The footie credits his church for teaching him to be disciplined, on and off the pitch.

"I got married at the age of 22. I spent most of my time with her, even when she was my girlfriend. My discipline started at church so that is the kind of person I am."

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