His career lasted for 15 years despite struggling with off-field issues such as alcohol and disappearing on match days at Amakhosi

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates midfielder Jabu ‘Pule’ Mahlangu has recalled how he threw away his football career during his playing days. 

Mahlangu, previously known as Pule, had a successful five-year stint with Amakhosi between 1999 and 2004 despite his off-the-field issues. 

He described himself as a cat with nine lives after surviving two horrible accidents and still managed to continue playing football until 2014.   

“I describe myself as a cat. I should have died a long time ago,” said Mahlangu as quoted by Daily Sun.

“How on earth am I still alive to this day I don’t know. I survived two car accidents and I escaped unscathed.

“You would not believe that I came out of the two cars if you have seen them after the accident.”

The now TV pundit said he used to buy everyone alcohol and by 2010, he was bankrupt as he had already spent all his money. 

Mahlangu said he spent three years with no source of income, indicating how bankrupt he was despite his glittering career which also took him to the 2002 Fifa World Cup. 

“I bought alcohol for everyone and I had lots of friends. In 2010, during the Fifa World Cup in South Africa, I was broke,” he added.

“You think that the many friends that you keep love you, but only to find out that they there for the money. I was broke for three years with no income.

“I am saying all this because I don’t want today’s footballers to fall into the same situation.”

Mahlangu encouraged the current generation to spend their money wisely and think about investing because football is a short career.  

He also weighed in on a number of car accidents that have rocked the South African football for many years, saying some professional players opt to buy driver’s licences. 

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“Football is a short-term career; ask me I know all about it. How do you buy a top of the range car while you don’t even have a driver’s licence?” he asked.  

“Most footballers buy driver’s licence, that’s why we have many accidents on the road. Investing in property is the way to go as it will take care of you when you hang up your boots.”

 

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