Soweto Soccer: From Dust To Stardom

It is skin-tearing playing fields like this one that shot some of Soweto soccer players to international stardom. The local emerging club owners are still clinging on to that practice. Nathi Mphangi (16), formerly of Glenridge United F.C. is a good example. He has been signed with the development side of one of the biggest teams in Africa, Kaizer Chiefs. Mphangi is now practising on the lush of some greenery in Naturena.

This pleased the chairperson of his former team, Dannyboy Magagula. “I will be happy to see these youngsters playing in the Professional Soccer League,” he states with pride.

Scoring points: Secretary of Protea Football Zonal League Niko Sethole and Glenridge United FC chairperson, Dannyboy Magagula

Reaping fruits: Protea Football Zonal League Chairperson, Mandla Mazibuko awarding players with medals.

On 12 February 2018, the Protea Football Zonal awarded medals and trophies to deserving players and teams in their annual tournament. “This was our top eight teams in the zonal league. The tournament was a wrap up of the 2017 league. We are open between March and October because our players are still in school,” explains the secretary, Niko Sithole.

He says the three-week tournament was in preparation for the opening of the league in March. They are affiliated with the South African Football Association (SAFA) Johannesburg region.

In all, there are eight zones across Soweto, and the league has 18 teams. Each team has 4 divisions: the under 11; 13; 15; 17.