Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Is Ngele destined to be Botswana’s biggest export?

Many countries around the world have had their best all time players. Such players are always on the lips of supporters as far as football matters are concerned and it takes years to find a player like them, let alone better.

In Brazil there are likes of Pele and Ronaldo while France boasts of Zenidene Zidane. Argentina has the likes of Lionel Messi who is still taking the football world by storm at Spanish side, Barcelona.

Football in Botswana has been growing of late and there are few players who have managed to join the professional ranks in South Africa, Egypt and even the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Soccer pundits would have to scratch their heads if they could be asked the all time best player to emerge from Botswana.

However, one player who is playing his way to stardom is Mogakolodi Ngele, who turns out for South African Premier League side, Platinum Stars.

Ngele, popularly known as Tsotso, is already a big hit in South Africa despite having been at his club for just two seasons.

What however can be taken note of Ngele is that he is the kind of player who easily fits into the team he plays for.

Since his days at Uniao Flamengo Santos and whilst still a student at Naledi Senior secondary, it was evident that he would go far if he would not be distracted.

In his first full season at Santos, Ngele helped his team reach the finals of the then lucrative Coca-Cola tournament in 2008.

Even though they lost by the heavy margin of 5-2, Ngele was one of the best players on the day.
The finals prepared him for big things as he managed to help Santo to reach the last stretch the following year again against BDF XI at UB stadium.

Ngele also played his heart out, helping his team win their first ever major trophy since their formation.

His exploits did not go unnoticed by so called big teams as they kept on hovering around Santos who held on to him until Township Rollers snatched him controversially in 2011.

At Rollers he continued his exploits, scoring vital goals that helped his team reach the lucrative Mascom Top Eight tournament in 2012 against Ecco City Green.

Whilst at Rollers some big teams in South Africa were also closely watching his performance and it was not surprising when the North West Province based side, Platinum Stars came knocking on Rollers doors.

Ngele joined Stars in 2012 and defied expectations by making an immediate impact. His killer exploits started gunning down so called bigger clubs like, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and even Mamelodi Sundowns.

Just last week, his brace saw him help his team win their second tournament, the Telkom knockout, one of South Africa’s most coveted, by beating Orlando Pirates 2-1.

Already reports emanating from South Africa indicate that the so called big teams are already after his services.

Looking back at the years when he started playing for the local Premier League and the South African one, may people in the country are of the view that Ngele could be one of the best ever local exports.

The acting Technical Director of the Botswana Football Association, Philemon Makhwengwe, told Sunday Standard that Ngele is a rare breed of talent who can actually go places around the world.

“If you look at Ngele from his days at junior secondary at Bokamoso you could see he was destined for bigger things. Actually I would say Ngele is a discovered talent not a developed one and such kind of players are rare around the world. He has natural talent, natural intellect and is a class of his own. Such kind of players just need to be nurtured. Many people coached him but he was already a gem,” he said.

Makgwengwe added that if fame and money cannot go to his head like other players, he might even be a big hit in Europe if he happens to go.

He said that would in turn open doors for many local players as more people would know about the Botswana.

Makgwengwe stressed that a talent like Ngele is an encouragement for them to be more active in development to try to find more discovered talent.

“I can tell you there are many players in the development ranks across Botswana. It is just that as the association we have to work a bit harder and have more players like Ngele to take our country somewhere,” he said.


Read this week's paper