Mkhwanazi needs help

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Moorosi Tsiane

BANTU defender Motlomelo Mkhwanazi has once again made headlines for the wrong reasons after appearing before the Hlotse Magistrate Court for allegedly assaulting his pregnant wife.

The stocky Likuena defender is reported to have also stabbed his mother who spent three days at a local hospital. However, the mother did not press charges.

Mkhwanazi, who re-joined Bantu in January 2020 following a short and unsuccessful stint with GladAfrica Championship side, TTM, has become known for this type of misdemeanours since his days at Matlama.

The player seems not to care that he is one of only a few who are fortunate enough to play for the country’s top clubs. At least his ill-discipline seems to suggest.

Things were looking brighter after he joined Bantu at the beginning of the 2018/19 season from Linare. He joined the side under James Madidilane and became an important member of Bantu’s defence partnering with Tsietsi Khooa as a centre back. However, it didn’t take him long to return to his old ways forcing Madidilane to leave him out of the team in January last year.

There is no doubt that Mkhwanazi is one of the best central defenders in Lesotho but the off the field escapades seem to obliterate his immense talent. This is stifling his great potential.

In him I see South Africa’s Mbulelo “Old John” Mabizela, the former Orlando Pirates defender who once signed for English premiership side Tottenham Hotspurs. His off-the field issues continued plaguing his career and was in the end released by the side. He joined Mamelodi Sundowns only to fall to the same old demons.

Mabizela was one of the hottest prospects of South Africa’s football in early 2000’s but unfortunately, his drug and alcohol abuse habits affected his career until he was forced to hang his boots.

Is this the same direction that Mkhwanazi wants his career to take?

I am of the opinion that he needs help if he is to enjoy any form of success, then he needs serious mentoring.

Bantu has already said it will discipline the player but I pray that they do not fire him. Instead, they must help him.

One of the first things that he must do is move from his Maputsoe home. The environment in one of the most notorious hubs of crime and it is not helping him.

I think he is a talent that’s worth saving if at all he is to achieve anything tangible. Like I said, the first port of call is his lifestyle.

Former American basketball player and head coach of the University of California, John Wooden once said: “Judge yourself not by what you have achieved but by what you should have achieved with the talent at your disposal”.

Many talented people don’t fulfill their potential for a whole variety of reasons such as lack of determination, distractions, lack of confidence, poor support around them or lack of opportunity.

Those who do reach their potential think and do things that help them grow and improve. They work hard, persevere, learn, make good choices about who to have around them and mix with. Their attitude towards their talent helps their performance. And for Mkhwanazi to reach to his potential, he needs a strong support system of people who will help him become a better person and ultimately a better player.

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