By Mmasekepe Matsebane
JOHANNESBURG: Maritzburg United rising star Siphesihle Ndlovu enjoyed the time of his life at the PSL Awards on Tuesday night, walking away with the Midfielder of the Season and Young Player of the Year awards.
But moments such as the 21-year-old experienced as he walked on to the stage at a packed Sandton Convention Centre, seemed like a distant dream a few years ago. There was a point in Ndlovu’s life when buying even a loaf of bread was a struggle.
Not knowing where his next meal, let alone his next pair of boots, would come from was Ndlovu’s reality in the early days. As if that was not enough he also had to contend with what he calls “serious family issues”.
It is this challenging background are the things that make him appreciate his success even more.
The Maritzburg United midfielder says football changed his life tremendously and now he is able to provide for his family and some of his friends, who stuck with him through the tough times.
“For me, football has changed my life financially. Because I was really struggling. My family was not doing well at all financially. It has made my life and the lives of my family members and close friends much better,” Ndlovu said.
“I treat my friends like family. Poverty is real. And when you grow up, you experience things. There were also family issues. I was struggling a lot. And boots were always a problem because I could not afford. Now I can afford many things and I am able to give my family a better life,” Maritzburg United midfielder said.
In winning the Midfielder of the Season Awards, Ndlovu beat off competition from Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana and Orlando Pirates key man Musa Nyatama.