JOHANNESBURG – Nkosikhona Dube’s desolation from losing both parents at a mere five years of age made it hard for him to even think that he would someday fly out of the country on a venture to test his football skills against foreign teams.
After the passing of his parents, living conditions became very tense at home, and as such, he’s had to depend on grandma Lindeni.
Five years on, grandma passed on as well and things took a turn for worse.
But the 18-year-old argues that there’s been a massive change in his life since he joined Golden Arrows two seasons ago. For instance, in the next few days he’ll be touring Spain as part of Arrows’ prize for winning this year’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC).
Something he never thought would happen before. The Stanger-born striker made 11 appearances during the campaign and scored once.
“After losing my parents at a young age, that period was very tough for me. And when I lost my grandma who was our pillar of strength at the time, that was even worse because I had to make ends meet for survival,’’Dube said.
“I grew up in the farms, so when I got time over the weekends, I would look for a job as a gardener or ask to be a cashier in a neighbouring store. At the time, for someone my age, that lifestyle was really difficult to bear. Even now, the welfare back at home is still tough.’’
Dube says that going outside the country because of football is a huge achievement for everyone, including community members, considering his humble beginnings.
“To play for Arrows, was an achievement on its own. I never thought that I’d ever land here, win the MDC and finally, fly out of the country,’’ Dube said.
“Going to Spain is a real deal for my family and community at large. It is the first time that someone from our community is going to Spain because of football, hence it is well received. It encourages me to continue doing well.’’
The Stanger community have always supported ‘Tower’ in his pursuit of a footballing career. Neighbour Nkokheli Zulu was the one who encouraged young Dube to join his club Black Lion.
After a year playing for Lion, Zulu invited Abafana Bes’thende’s juniors for a friendly match. It was during the encounter that Tower was discovered by Arrows’ coaching department; Clinton Larsen (head coach), Mandla Ncikazi (assistant) and Vusumuzi Vilakazi (his Diski coach).
“I am very grateful to Arrows for the opportunity they have given me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the club,’’Dube said.
Arrows will depart for Spain tomorrow, where they’ll play Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona and Espanyol. The team is scheduled to be back in the country on Tuesday, March 27.