Bringing Kaizer Chiefs fans joy is a Given for Msimango

Given Msimango in action for Kaizer Choefs during a match against Cape Town City

FILE - Given Msimango in action for Kaizer Choefs during a match against Cape Town City. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 1, 2024


The Kaizer Chiefs club is more than just a place of employment for Given Msimango, and that’s why it’s been hard for him to see the team’s supporters go through so much pain.

As a young boy growing up in Brakpan, on the East Rand, Msimango had hopes of playing for Chiefs some day, having been one of the Amakhosi’s staunch supporters.

This season saw his dream come true, following stints at TS Galaxy, Highlands Park and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

“Coming here was a no-brainer for me. This is a club that I supported growing up. I am not saying that because I am playing here,” the towering defender said yesterday, ahead of Saturday’s DStv Premiership clash against Moroka Swallows at the FNB Stadium (5.45pm kick-off).

“My family is made up of Chiefs supporters. When the chance arose to come here, it was (a) no-brainer, irrespective of which club was interested in me at the time.

“I came here as a young man, and I still needed to grow as a footballer,

leader and human being. So, coming into this environment, I’ve found all of that. It’s still a journey for me, and a huge learning process. You understand what true pressure is when you play football and are required to deliver results.”

Msimango and Co haven’t delivered the results, though, as Chiefs ensured that their trophy drought would be extended to nine seasons on Sunday when they bowed out of the Nedbank Cup following a horrific loss to minnows Milford FC.

And having already missed out on the MTN8 and Carling Knockout Cup, Chiefs can only save their season by finishing in the top three in the Premiership. The league title is out of reach for them as well.

“What hurts the most is seeing the hurt on (the faces of) our fans. Before anything, we are human beings, and they use their hardearned money to come and watch us,” Msimango said.

“Of course, you interact with some of them as you go on with your daily life. You see the hurt in their eyes, (in) the little chat you have with the petrol attendant or retailer.

“Every day passes, and when it’s a difficult time in terms of the performance and things are not working out, or we lose a big game like last Sunday, it really hurts me.”

Chiefs can still give their fans something to cheer about in the next few days.

Amakhosi will play two Soweto derbies in the space of a week, starting with a clash at home to Swallows tomorrow, before visiting Orlando Pirates next Saturday.

So, should Chiefs win the two derbies – and the midweek league clash away to Golden Arrows – they’ll show their hunger to finish the season on a high.


IOL Sport