Daine Klate has joined Chippa United on a three year contract in what is likely the final move of his career. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - The 14-year-old boy who left Port Elizabeth almost two decades ago has returned home as a man, with the aim of inspiring boys like his young self to follow in his footsteps.

Daine Klate’s chance union with Chippa United is a match made in heaven as it fits in well with what both parties want to achieve. The Chilli Boys want to grow their fan base in the Eastern Cape, and they can achieve that with the presence of the six-time league winner who hails from PE. Klate, who was planning to go back home anyway, was given an opportunity to continue playing and carry out his philanthropic goals at the same time.

“It was time for me to go back home,” Klate said. “There’s a lot of work for me to do in PE, besides moving for myself, football and helping Chippa. There’s a lot of work for me to do in the community, to try and inspire the youngsters where I come from. The move back home is more about giving back and starting things in PE that can be sustainable and help the community. But we shouldn’t forget that I am still able to play and I can contribute on the football pitch too. I didn’t want to leave it till late to go back.”

The 33-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Chilli Boys who are in Johannesburg for their pre-season camp. His family has already settled in PE where they have been for two-and-a-half years. His sons - Zack in Grade 3 and Alex in Grade 1 - have also settled school-wise in the Windy City. Klate is the one who needs to get accustomed to his new surroundings at Chippa after winning major titles with every club he has represented; from SuperSport United to Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits, who he helped win their first league title in almost 100 years. Klate’s success never went to his head and throughout his career, he has never been in the news for the wrong reasons.

“I want to inspire and share my story with the younger ones, how I made it,” Klate said. “Showing them trophies or material things will not help. You have to be there, spend time with them, get to know these little boys and where they come from. I want to make them understand the importance of education regardless of how talented you are because school doesn’t only make you book smart and gives you something to fall back on but it also teaches you important life skills.”

This move is also part of Klate winding down his career. He has also thought about what he’ll do once he hangs up his boots. “I would like to make a difference. Property is obviously one route I can take. There are a lot of dilapidated buildings, especially in the area that I come from," he said. 

"I am looking at helping there, drawing up a good business plan and have investors come in to improve the area. We have to improve our people’s living conditions. It makes me sad to see how some of our people live. That’s why I am saying that there is no use in me having all of this success but not using it to help and bring others up. Coaching is another option. I would love to be involved in football in some capacity.”

The Star

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