Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Jabu Mahlangu has issued a strong warning to Siyabonga Ngezana, who made his debut against Mamelodi Sundowns and played his heart in the 0-0 draw with Orlando Pirates last week.
At 19, Ngezana joined a list of young players that have been given a chance by coach Steve Komphela this season, but Mahlangu, who was the same age as the central defender when he made his professional debut in 1999, said Ngezana should choose his friends wisely now that he is at a big club.
“He must choose his friends wisely. There will be plenty of friends who will want to come closer because he’s now playing for a big team and earning a lot of money,” Mahlangu told Isolezwe.
“When all that is gone, then they will disappear,” he added.
“He has to focus on his job. He shouldn’t allow fame to get into his head. What’s important for him is to listen to the legends and those who have retired – people who went through the same thing,” continued Mahlangu.
“The team can protect him all they can, but what matters the most is what he does off the pitch. Ngezana has the talent and he started off well, but he has to keep his family very close because family will always be there; that’s what helped me,” added the former Bafana Bafana winger.
Mahlangu, who is now a football pundit, expressed delight at seeing Amakhosi give the young generation of players a chance to showcase their talent at the highest level of South African football.
“It’s good that Chiefs are playing these youngsters because it’s obvious that they are making a difference, but fame is something else because it comes with so many challenges. The fans appear to be happy with Ngenzana. So, he must keep working hard,” concluded Mahlangu.