Mark Mayambela takes on a 'moholo' role
With thousands of his fellow Zion Christian Church (ZCC) members having made the pilgrimage to Moria, Mark Mayambela can only be there in spirit.
For the Khayelitsha-born Mayambela, Moria is more than just a popular religious destination; it's a place of salvation and where he finds inner peace.
"I won't be there this time around but I have been there many times. Moria is my spiritual home and it's a place that has changed my life."
"But other members have gone there. As you know people travel from every province and even from outside the country to go to Moria, " he said
The reason the 31-year-old couldn't make the journey was because his team Chippa United had a battle with Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup semifinal yesterday.
Mayambela admits that as a footballer, he sacrifices a lot to make sure that his family, including his mother Lungiswa and son Lonwabo, are well taken care of.
"It's not easy because we are away from friends and family but we make a living from football so that we can give them a better life," he said.
With most male adult ZCC members referred to as moholo, meaning elder, Mayambela fittingly plays that role at Chippa as the captain.
"I try to lead by example, you know, because I am experienced and have been there and done it.
"We have a number of young players in our team so my mission is to share with them what I have learnt over the years."
Having been somewhat of a nomad in his career, the former Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United, Ajax Cape Town, Bloemfontein Celtic and Djurgarden (Sweden) midfielder looks settled at the PE club.
"As you know I have played for a number of clubs and even played overseas, but I am happy here because I am closer to my family and it's a good environment."