Helman “Midnight Express” Mkhalele had priceless advice
for the 2016 Ke Yona Team Search players when he mentored them during the
Nedbank’s Ke Yona Ring of Steel.
The Ring of Steel educational session was held at the High Performance
Centre in Pretoria.
Mkhalele rose to fame during the mid-1990s. The former
Bafana Bafana midfielder, who was part of the Orlando Pirates team to win the
1994 National Soccer League and 1995 African Cup of Nations, went on to enjoy a
six year international career.
Mkhalele spoke frankly about the successes and struggles
he went through during his time as a professional player.
“Once you become a soccer star, that is when the hard
work starts. Girls will be throwing themselves on you. Friends, especially
not-so-good friends, come to you and give you advice that could hinder your
progress. All eyes are on you. The
pressure that always comes with fame is that you end up feeling you are above
the law because, wherever you go people are greeting and praising you.
“It is important for players to realise: Yes, I have this
name that everyone knows but I must make sure that I deserve their respect and
that I return that respect,” he said.
Mkhalele learned the hard way that being careless with
money can lead to financial ruin.
But, thanks to his training as a teacher, eventually he
was able to bounce back.
“When I was a professional player, I knew my career
wouldn’t last forever and I carved out time to get an education in teaching.
When I lost everything, I had to enter a mainstream job market. It was through
my education that I was able to start again and build up everything I had lost.
Some golden nuggets Mkhalele shared at the session
- Overcome and adapt to changing environments and working
hard so that you can get the opportunity to play overseas.
- Deal with disappointments by understanding that it is
important to remain focused and dedicated to your goal despite the challenges
- Go back and reflect on mistakes so that you can focus
on bouncing back from disappointments.
- Being able to read the game is the foundation of
- Look after your body both on and off the field.
- Respecting your coaches and fellow players both on and
off the field is important to build up your brand.
- Strive to earn everything for yourself. Do not depend
on your family for financial support.
- Strive to achieve your own destiny. Do not wait for
others to applaud you.
Catch the highlights of Mkhalele
mentoring the Ke Yona players on the Ke Yona TV series at 2pm on SABC1 this