JOHANNESBURG – Steve Komphela looked for positives when there were barely any post Orlando Pirates’ 3-1 demolition of his Kaizer Chiefs side at the weekend.
Therefore, staying in character, the coach offered some Komphelaisms - maybe as a way to deflect the attention away from the fact that he might vacate the Amakhosi post at the end of the season without winning a significant Soweto Derby.
Komphela’s contract at Chiefs runs out in June.
“I am not a defensive person, I expose myself to bullets and flurry,” the coach said. “Would I have felt good that Chiefs wins all the derbies that I have been in charge of, that would have been tremendous. In football, it’s reasons or results.
"If you don’t have results you have to explain. We have won before, but maybe the ones that are not counted for. The ones that don’t matter.”
Indeed Saturday’s results ignites the burning furnace he has been in since taking the job nearly three years ago even further.
Chiefs surrendered their record as the team with the best defensive record to Maritzburg United following the heavy defeat, conceding three goals for the first time this season and slipping down the Absa Premiership table to fifth place at the end of the day - denting any title hopes they had still.
While he did offer some tip-top analysis of where he thought Chiefs lost the game, he did go off the rails during his post-match briefing, turning it more into a brief sermon in some parts of the 30-minute long press conference at the FNB Stadium auditorium.
“One of the basic principles of life, which most of them are embedded in Buddhism, tells you about acceptance.
"Pain stops the minute acceptance kicks in, and pain starts the minute denial kicks in,” said Komphela in response to a question about whether he feared the sack after news that Eric Tinkler had resigned as SuperSport United coach late on Friday and Tebogo Moloi had also been sent packing by Chippa United hours before the Soweto Derby.
“If you are in denial of the facts and the truths facing you, you will live in pain. If you are in acceptance of the reality that is facing you - you move on without any hindrance. I draw my inspiration from Buddhism, even though I am born Christian.
"I study a whole lot of other religions. But one of the things that has given me immense inner strength has been Buddhism. You must go study Buddhism, they will tell you about the truth and the realities of pain.”
He wasn’t finished.
“First, enlightenment is key, reflection and acceptance that this exists,” Komphela carried on. “If you deny, you are going to suffer.
"As soon as your head sifts through stuff, then it gets into your body and you relax, accept and get stronger. Failure of mental and inner strength will take you to the next level, which is spiritual. When you get to the spiritual zone, nothing will shake you.
My colleagues must learn this - and it’s one hell of a life lesson - go through it mentally, emotionally and when you get to the spiritual, show me any person in that zone who feels pain. They are in the acceptance zone. I did not respond to the question, but I just unpacked my way of seeing things and thinking.”
The journalist who asked the question responded in applause, but there will be no ovation for Komphela should Chiefs end the season barren yet again.