The definitive biography of Steve Mbuyi Komphela, one of South Africa’s most enigmatic football figures, is set to grace bookshelves and coffee tables in the next couple of years. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
The definitive biography of Steve Mbuyi Komphela, one of South Africa’s most enigmatic football figures, is set to grace bookshelves and coffee tables in the next couple of years. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Komphela locks down his thoughts on his life's journey

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Apr 25, 2020

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The definitive biography of Steve Mbuyi Komphela, one of South Africa’s most enigmatic football figures, is set to grace bookshelves and coffee tables in the next couple of years.

In an interview with Independent Media, the loquacious tactician revealed that he is working on telling his story and football journey going back to the dusty streets of his Kroonstad home town in Welkom, Free State.

Komphela, who assumed Bafana captaincy in their second World Cup qualifier after re-admission to the international fold, is using the extra time during this coronavirus-enforced break to continue the work on his book.

From humble beginnings at Klerksdorp City FC, the 52-year-old found himself in the black and gold colours of Kaizer Chiefs in 1993 after a spell with Free State Stars.

At Amakhosi, he performed with honour and that resulted in him earnin a move to Turkey where he enjoyed a successful career and ended his playing days.

“Jah, there will (be an autobiography of Komphela). I’m busy working on that. I hope very soon it will come out. This has given me enough time. There’s a lot that I’m bringing together. But I just want it to make sense,” Komphela, who is now coaching Lamontville Golden Arrows, elaborated.

After his glittering playing career, Komphela embarked on a coaching journey. He commenced at his former club Amakhosi as the deputy to Muhsin Ertugral. In 2002 he took over the coaching reins at Manning Rangers. Since then, Komphela has flourished to become one of the most respected mentors in South African football.

“This thing of writing books shouldn’t be fashionable. You don’t want to write a book and somebody reads the book and throw it away. You want someone to read the book and use it as a manual and refer to that book. When they are in a happy mood, they must read that book, it must talk to them. When they are feeling bad, down, it must bring them back to life. We need to have something powerful enough not to overwhelm people who are not into reading. It must make sense to them, not to be too large for your readers. A man who likes reading must be glued to that book and a man who doesn’t like reading, must be tempted to read that book as well,” he articulated.

Komphela has been juggling his schedule during the lockdown.

“I haven’t been reading much because I’ve been doing a lot of writing. I’ve just started reading, there’s another book by Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now. I think it is a great book to read at this time. It’s more to living in the present. Even now, time has no essence. You look at the clock, whether it is one o’clock, two o’clock or three o’clock, what are you going to do with time because you’ve got nowhere to go.

"You can’t have life without purpose. You have to acknowledge that there was yesterday and there’s gonna be tomorrow and then we will wait for the next 10 years, days and after lockdown life will resume. We have to be conscious of what is happening,” Komphela quipped.

Komphela is known to be a man with endless positivity even when the chips are down. When he speaks about life experiences and his career it sounds as if it has been all about success. But he doesn’t hide that he has also endured trials and tribulations - although to him all of it helps him to prepare better for moving forward.

Many will recall how when he was the head coach of Chiefs and lost in cup finals, he ended up resigning in an ugly fashion and then went on to work on a shoestring budget at Bloemfontein Celtic.

But that’s all behind for the man who has no negativity in his veins. The man they call Mphathi is also quite pedantic about routine as it clearly shows in his approach during the lockdown.

“In the morning I freshen up and then at 9am I do my visual session with Arrows. After that I have my personal workout and after that I go and read. Enjoy the current moment. If you are looking for tomorrow, you’ll be frustrated because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Life without agenda is frustrating. The only agenda you can create is the agenda of now,” Komphela explained.

@minenhlecr7


Independent on Saturday

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