Catching Up With The Legendary Lucky Lekgwathi

The past few months have been the busiest for me in a very long time. I have not really had time to sit and chat with any of my friends or anyone for that matter, which is why I could not let the opportunity to chat with the legendary Lucky Lekgwathi I took with both hands as he humbly unpacked his views on the issue of football development in our country.

The former Orlando Pirates Captain reflected on our glory days.
“Development used to be amazing in South Africa, if you remember we managed to beat Brazil in the U/23 with the likes of Benni McCarthy,” he said.

He also emphasized that development is crucial in every country, he says when you look at the current Bafana Bafana squad, it is made up mostly of players who have never played for the U/20 or U/23 which sometimes makes it difficult for them to perform as they start having a professional coaching late in their careers.

Lucky Lekgwathi during the Orlando Pirates Jersey Launch on the 17 July 2017 at Adidas Base © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

“Orlando Pirates used to promote players from the development side, if you look at the likes of Gift Leremi, Lebogang Mokoena, and Tlou Segolela just to name a few” said Lekgwathi who led Pirates during their unprecedented double treble triumphs.
He encourages coaches and club owners to look into developing players before promoting them to the senior team. He also says he feels coaches like Pitso Mosimane, Micho and Rhulani Mokoena should go to places like the township to develop young coaches.

“I feel like when you come from a township it’s very difficult for you to make it into big teams, especially if you are a coach. Coaches who are already in the PSL should call these coaches to shadow them during training,” Lekgwathi added.

He says he respects Orlando Pirates for hosting development tournaments like the Pirates Cup.

“I personally saw a lot of good players and I think it’s also amazing that other team scouts were here,” he explained.

Lucky Lekgwathi, former player during the 2018 MTN8 launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Johannesburg on 30 July 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

He says his aim is to give back to the community with his foundation which is called The Lucky Lekgwathi Foundation.

“I always go to old age homes to buy them groceries and food for winter. I am also hosting a tournament in July and some of the scouts will be there like my former coach Augustos Paulacious,” he said.

Bafana Bafana will be representing South Africa at this year’s African Cup of Nations and Lekgwathi feels the side has a better chance of making us proud.

“Bafana has got a good coach, he coached me, we went to USA and we managed to beat a team like Mexico, so I really believe players will do well under the guidance of Stuart Baxter.” He concluded.

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Lucas Radebe’s Partnership with Jawitz Property

I was lucky enough to have a sit down with Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe and he spoke to me about his collaboration with Jawitz Properties, what makes a house a home, his son’s football career and how he managed to stay relevant even after hanging his boots.

Why did you decide to collaborate with Jawitz Properties?

Jawitz Properties and I, we have a history. I bought my home from them back in 1999 and it was such a good experience. Buying and selling can be a daunting prospect, but if you’re looking for someone to genuinely partner with you every step of the way, Jawitz is the real deal. I also really liked the authenticity of this campaign, it’s all about what home means to real people: people like you and me. It was good to team up with them again.

How important is it for South Africans especially from the townships to learn about investing in property?

It is one of the most important things. Historically, people from the townships did not have the best opportunities, but that’s all changing now. The sad thing is that you will still see a fancy car parked outside a match box house. People need more help and guidance managing their money, and making it work harder for them.

What makes a house a home for you?

I have lived in many houses in my lifetime. From Diepkloof, Zone 4 to Bophuthatswana, all the way to Elland Road in Leeds… and the thing that makes a house a home for me is knowing you’re sharing a space with the people you love. It’s the support, the memories you make together, that love and passion. Oh, and of course the smell of home cooking. That’s a big one.

At what age did you buy your first house? (I couldn’t find anything on this.)

It was just after I turned 26 and I needed somewhere to start my own family. I saw this house in Morningside and I said “that’s the one!” So I made an offer and they accepted. I was in that house for 10 years and I still think about it sometimes. A home full of happy memories really stays with you forever.

Do you think investing in property is more important than buying a car cash? What’s your take on that?

This is a tough one. On one hand, generally, property will continue to grow in value over time and be worth more than what you paid for it when you decide to sell, while a car is a depreciating asset. That said, a car will help you get around, which may make it easier to get a better job and more money. My advice would be to buy the cheapest, most reliable car you can find and then put the rest down to save for a deposit on a house. Property is an investment, a car is not.

You’re obviously a family man, known for loving his kids. Your son is a footballer now – do you see him blowing up like how you did?

He definitely has the football genes and he works hard, so yes, I can see him following in my footsteps. The only thing I keep telling him is that football is not a long career. When you get a chance, make the best of it, because you can live much longer than your career. As long as continues on this path with respect, commitment and humility, I will support his decisions.

You are not only a legend in SA, even in Leeds they praise you, what’s your take on that?

I worked hard to get where I am, and it took a lot of dedication and determination. I made many sacrifices. I think it’s that work ethic that people look up to and admire. I like to think of myself as an example of what people can achieve when they put their minds to it. And I must say, it feels really great when people appreciate you while you’re still alive.

You’ve managed to stay relevant despite hanging your boots, what’s your secret?

I think it comes down to the way you behave, and how you respect people – young or old. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I received during my life, and now I am dedicating my time to helping others, especially children, build their success. As a retired footballer, I feel like I have a duty to pass on the lessons I have learnt. I will continue with passion and a positive attitude, using my God given gifts for good.

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