Recently, the footballing nation was mourning two South Africans who perished through car accidents. This has been a concern over decades and the problems still persists. Similar to car accidents, there is a trend in footballers who tend to remedy their situations by alcohol this affecting their performance on the pitch and later destroying their careers for good.
There are quite notable faces to mention in this situation, starting here in Botswana, although they are still active, they have shown a decline and worrisome performance in recent times. Dirang Moloi is regarded as the best ever midfielder in Botswana if not the region, with that, with that we can agree that it is public knowledge he has never displayed his utmost potential, some say he prefers to play in Sunday soccer league where he will indulge in unwarranted behavior (use of substance abuse).
Without any distractions, Dirang could have been our best athlete in decades, Europe was oozing for his talent, unfortunately for his lack of love in football, it has cost him and the country.
OTHER LOCAL ATHLETES DESTROYED BY SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TSHEPO MALGAS AND LEBOGANG DITSELE
The other two players who are struggling with substance abuse, are the two young and promising talent we wish to see prosper. Lebogang Ditsile and Tshepo Malgas have made their names in the hearts of Batswana with their scintillating display of football more especially Tshepo Malgas, this young man broke into Sharps Shooting Stars (now Molepolole City Stars) and passed through Notwane to Gaborone United where it all went black, every week he was reported to be missing in training and indulged in alcohol use with his friends.
On the other hand, Lebogang Ditsile has been dismissed from the national team by the new Belgian gaffer, (who is most concerned with discipline in his team), Adel Amrouche because of his ill-discipline, one time it trended on social media after they were reported to have invaded the camp with girls and alcohol which led to his dismissal.
Although there were other teammates involved like Mothusi Copper who has since produced a public apology to acknowledge his wrongdoing and was forgiven by the public and the technical team hence his inclusion in the national team and performs exceptionally well.
Moving to South African players where this kind of behavior is very prone, Lerato Chabangu and Junior Khanye made headlines during lockdown, their images surfacing on the internet exposing their suffering which they endued due to use of substance abuse.
Lerato Chabangu was once a darling of South African football with his mesmerizing style of play which he caught the eye of spectators at Moroka Swallows which once challenged for the league in 2012; some of the stars involved were Siyabonga Nomvethe, Lefa Tsutsulupa and the experienced Vuyo Mere.
Chabangu breakdown started when Swallows relegated to NFD, he was signed by Chippa United though he did not hit it running, and he had to indulge in substance abuse, blowing all his money in women and alcohol and his property was seized back which left him depressed and homeless.
Other players who had to experience this horrible learning curve are, Jabu Mahlangu former Kaizer Chiefs midfield, Tendani Ntshumayelo who was a promising Orlando Pirates player, four years ago he was tested positive for cocaine and banned for four years which was reduced to two.
One of the big names not to be forgotten is Mbulelo ‘Oldjohn’ Mabizela, the youngest Bafana Bafana captain at 22 to date, former Orlando Pirates player who made it to Tottenham Spurs and was a regular player there, this beautiful talent ended in vain.
Change of mindset from our athletes will be a positive outline in our fight to have a free doping sports nation.