MANY football players in Mzanzi struggle to make a living after they retire.But that is not the case with former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Ishmael Maluleke, who now installs satellite dishes to communities in Malamulela, Limpopo.
Maluleke (43), who spent more than a decade as football player, retired from the game in 2008.He is also remembered for ending the 2001-02 season as the leading goal scorer, winning the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot.
“There is life after a football career,” said Maluleke.
“What motivated me to start this business was my late dad whom unfortunately passed away three years ago. My dad sat me down after I retired and said I should put my pride aside as you cannot be a celebrity forever without making a living.
“You need to do something which will put bread on the table. I put my pride aside and I went to MultiChoice to attend their courses and I have been doing this for five years.
He added: “I have five youngsters who are working for me and a young woman called Nhamulo Rikhotso. She has been doing well.”
Maluleke, who has also played for the likes of Manning Rangers, AmaZulu, Platinum Stars, Jomo Cosmos, Thanda Royal Zulu and Nathi Lions is also appealing to former players who are struggling to do something with their lives.
“Ex-soccer players need to stop feeling pity for themselves,” said Maluleke.
“Pride can make a person suffer. It’s time to stop regretting about the past mistakes and look to the future. Everyone can do something about their life. It’s sad and painful to see a former player struggling in life.”
Maluleke also revealed he also owns a property company called Yimisa Nhonga Properties and Investment.
Maluleke is also involved in development of football in his community.
“I work with youngsters who dream to become football players,” said Maluleke, who is also a pastor.“I gave them advice on the experience I gained during my playing days. It feels good to give back to your community.”