The story of Bafana Bafana defender and Cape Town City captain Thamsanqa Mkhize has been the story of perspiration, perseverance and inspiration.
Mkhize has faced trials and tribulations in his career. Three seasons ago, he was on the verge of getting relegated with Maritzburg United but escaped the axe on the last day of the league.
The softly spoken full-back then cut ties with the Team of Choice after helping them to cement their Premier Soccer League (PSL) status.
Few months later, Mkhize joined Orlando Pirates but the arrival of Muhsin Ertugral at the Buccanneers saw Mkhize depart.
It was a step back for Mkhize but he has bounced back tremendously in his career.
“I wasn’t deflated by what happened at Pirates. Instead what happened at Pirates motivated me because I knew exactly what happened. What was key at that time was to tell my family what happened.
"I want to thank God for giving me strength to overcome the challenge I was facing at the time. I had faith in my talent and I kept on believing that something was going to happen for me," Mkhize said.
Mkhize was snapped up by Cape Town City following his departure at Pirates in 2016.
“You must never give up as a professional footballer. You must always work hard,” he added.
In his spell with the Citizens, Mkhize has won silverware in the form of the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout. His main goal now is to propel City to a league triumph.
“Personally, I would love to win the league with Cape Town City. It is also my desire to compete in the Caf Champions League,” Mkhize stated.
Mkhize was one of the standout performers for Bafana Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). His displays impressed clubs from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and China. Locally, Mkhize is on the radar of Mamelodi Sundowns.
“If there’s also an opportunity to go overseas, I would really love to use it to the best of my ability. It is a motivation on its own that there are teams that have inquired about my services overseas. It shows that there’s something that I’m doing well. These are things that we want to achieve as players. We want to go and play overseas. We want to play for big clubs,” Mkhize said.
He featured in all Bafana's games at the Afcon.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity of participating in the Afcon. It was a massive opportunity for me. Playing at the Afcon is different than playing PSL. We were competing against the best in Africa.It motivated me to continue working hard," a determined Mkhize explained.
Last season, Mkhize shone at Cape Town City’s awards event. He attributed his solid displays to consistency.
“For me, it is all about consistency. People like to associate themselves with someone who is consistent. Staying consistent is what helped me to have a good season,” Mkhize concluded.