Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Retiring from professional football at the peak of your powers must be a depressing experience for someone whose livelihood is dependent on the game.

But former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates goalie, Brilliant Khuzwayo, who called quits due to an injury, has taken it on the chin and decided to move on in life.

Speaking with the media at Hilton Hotel in Durban, where he was officially announced as the ambassador of the eThekwini Games, the Umlazi-born goal-minder was positive about future despite his difficult circumstances.

“Life is all about getting through challenges. You only learn from challenges in life. If you don’t encounter any challenges, I don’t think you grow as a human being. There are people who are facing worse situations than mine in life generally. My wife was involved in a car accident and they had to cut her hand. I was with her. Imagine if it was me at that time,” a positive and determined Khuzwayo said.

His short career was full of promise as he represented three giants of South African football. Khuzwayo plied his trade with Amakhosi, the Buccaneers and AmaZulu, earning three Bafana Bafana caps during his journey.

“For me, it is not the end of the world. If I don’t accept my situation, I will live with pain but the moment I accept, I will live a free life and that’s what I choose. That’s who I am. I accept any challenge that comes my way. I have to keep going and be resilient because if I do so I will inspire people. If I crumble, how are my kids going to look at me? How you fix problems, makes you a better person, that’s life,” Khuzwayo added.

He burst onto the scene when he played for the Phefeni Boys, in place of injured Itumeleng Khune. He occupied the No 1 spot with aplomb and Chiefs never felt that their top goal-minder was missing. But he then faced a long injury lay-off.

“I got a report in November. It was a long report. I was supposed to have ended my career during that time but the Chairman, Irvin Khoza, kept on pushing. He was positive that I will get better. An ankle injury takes two weeks, it can’t take a year. It takes six to eight weeks for an ankle injury to heal, not a year. I sat down with the Chairman and we spoke.

We tried different options but unfortunately I developed arthritis in my ankle. Unfortunately, you can’t heal the arthritis. If I continued, they were maybe going to amputate my leg which is not what I want.”

The 29-year-old started his pro career in 2010 at Usuthu. After one season Khuzwayo was loaned out to Thanda Royal Zulu in the National First Division where he excelled. In 2012, Chiefs came in knocking and he joined them. Khuzwayo left Amakhosi last season to join the Buccaneers.

“There’s a lot of things that I’m planning. People are coming up with different opportunities. I need to sit down and see who is really serious. A lot of people like to talk and don’t take action. Currently I’m just trying to set a foundation.

When I have something solid, I can then make a proper announcement.” Khuzwayo said.

@Minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury


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