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‘I came here as grapes, but I leave as wine’, says Stellenbosch star Zitha Kwinika on Kaizer Chiefs move

Zitha Kwinika has made a name for himself in PSL football. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Zitha Kwinika has made a name for himself in PSL football. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published May 18, 2022


Cape Town - Zitha Kwinika was filled with mixed emotions at the Stellenbosch FC Awards evening on Tuesday night.

The star defender, who has been an integral part of the Stellenbosch’s dream run to fifth on the Dstv Premiership table heading into the the last game of the season against neighbours Cape Town City on Saturday, was honoured with the club's Players' Player of the Season and Footballer of the Season prizes.

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Stellenbosch FC’s trophies for their awards evening on display. Photo: Zaahier Adams/IOL Sport

However, it was also confirmed that Kwinika would be leaving the winelands-based club to return to his boyhood team Kaizer Chiefs at the end of the season. Kwinika, 28, was part of the Amakhosi’s Academy staff as a youngster.

“I’d like to wish Zitha well. He’s going back to his boyhood club, where he’s developed,” Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker said. “Zitha will go back to Kaizer Chiefs, he deserves everything of the best. We wish him well, but be aware, we’re coming for you.”

Zitha Kwinika was the big winner at the Stellenbosch end of season awards. Photo: Zaahier Adams/IOL Sport

Kwinika has been a pillar of strength at the back for Stellies since arriving at the club two seasons ago from Wits. He made 56 appearances for the Men in Maroon during this period.

He was certainly grateful for his time spent in the Western Cape, stating that "I could say that I came here as grapes, and I will be ready to leave as wine."

The full list of Stellenbosch FC 2021/22 awards winners:

Player of the Season: Zitha Kwinika

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Players’ Player of the Season: Zitha Kwinika

Top Goalscorer: Judas Moseamedi and Ashley du Preez

CEO Award: Evangelos Vellios (Diski Championship-winning coach)

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Sportsman of the Season: Rafiq de Goede