Retired Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana player Jabu Mahlangu has opened up about his difficulties when he was thrust into the spotlight as a young soccer star.
Mahlangu made his professional debut for Kaizer Chiefs during the 1999/2000 season and says he always knew he had soccer talent.
I didn't expect that I was going to be as huge as I became, coming from the dusty streets of Berkesdal.— Jabu Mahlangu, soccer analyst and motivational speaker
As a youngster, he was a die-hard Orlando Pirates fan, but was head-hunted to try out for Kaizer Chiefs.
The sports commentator opened up about his struggle with drugs and alcohol and the challenges facing young soccer players today.
Mahlangu says he has gone public about his mistakes to help encourage other budding soccer stars make the right choices.
I was a victim of drugs and alcohol at a young age... Even when I was on top of my game, I didn't realise how big I was - mina bengiz'philela nje (I was living for myself.)— Jabu Mahlangu, soccer analyst and motivational speaker
I didn't understand that I'm a role model and had others looking up to me.— Jabu Mahlangu, soccer analyst and motivational speaker
He talks about his first goal, family and fans support, his football career and the development of the soccer industry with 702 presenter Azania Mosaka.
Take a listen:
I'm not a Chiefs fan but twice I went to the old FNB stadium just to watch @JabuMahlangu12 and he didn't disappoint!— Tshepo Motsitsi (@tshepo_motsitsi) February 3, 2017