New club for Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala

ShaYe Lounge owners Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala
ShaYe Lounge owners Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala

Former Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs midfielders Reneilwe "Yeye" Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala have started preparing for life beyond football.

The two stars and best friends recently opened a swanky drinking hole in Dobsonville, Soweto, after two years of planning and development.

ShaYe Lounge, a sophisticated double-storey ale house that offers stunning views of Soweto from the rooftop, was quietly opened six weeks ago with an official launch still on the cards.

The soccer stars bought Dobsonville's famous Morris Pub in 2015 and then they razed it to build their dream joint.

Letsholonyane said the pozzie aimed to bring elegance to the township and attract more people to it.

He said he never anticipated this kind of business venture but was heartbroken when he learnt that his favourite chilling spot was up for sale.

Reneilwe Letsholonyane at ShaYe Lounge that he and former teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala established in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane at ShaYe Lounge that he and former teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala established in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Image: Mdu Ndzingi

"This place used to be a pub where I used to chill every time I got a chance. So one day I heard that the owner wanted to sell the place and I knew I could not let go of it.

"When it was on the market Shabba and I thought that we should buy the place to keep our love for it, and turn it into something beautiful and leave a legacy for our children.

"At the time, we were still focused on our careers but we both knew what we wanted from the place and decided to develop it at our own pace,"
he said.

The lounge currently operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Tshabalala, who is currently in Turkey playing for Super League side Erzurumspor, said he has been friends with Letsholonyane for a long time and they decided it was about time they took their "brotherhood" to the next level.

"The most challenging thing is that I'm abroad and Yeye's schedule is tight but he tries to know everything about the business and he's there when he's not playing or training.

"It's a cash business which needs us to be hands-on and we are still babies in this industry but we are willing to learn," said Tshabalala from Turkey.

ShaYe Lounge employs 13 people and the bar has a strictage limit of 24 years. The dress code restricts Converse and All Star takkies.

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