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CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: NTANDO NKOSIAuthor: Erica Mathye Hailing from Heidelberg, 50 kilometers South-East of Johannesburg, a town that has produced football talents like Bongani Zungu and Lebohang Maboe, has a promising talent in the 19-year-old Ntando “Scara” Nkosi who is making himself as an exciting player to watch out for in the DStv Diski Challenge (DDC) and topflight football. The young midfield maestro’s story, like many of the professional footballers, began at a very young age, where he fell in love with the sport and never looked back.
“My football story began at the age of seven. I used to play in Heidelberg for a team called Bokamoso FC, as a young kid and that’s where my talent and passion for the sport was polished,”Nkosi said.
Ntando joined Mamelodi Sundowns’ U/19 team in 2022 and within a year started training with the first team. This, according to him, was the turning point for his football career. The midfielder made his senior team debut in 2023 by featuring in a DSTV League match against Stellenbosch FC. He also made his first appearance in the CAF Champions League when Masandawana played against Coton Sport FC in the same year.
“The call up to the first team was a special moment for me and my family. I knew what I was capable of but I didn’t think something like that would happen to me. In that moment, I knew that my story was going to motivate aspiring football players. I feel blessed to be here at a very young age because not everyone gets afforded such an opportunity,”Nkosi expressed with a smile on his face.
“The call up to the first team was a special moment for me and my family. I knew what I was capable of but I didn’t think something like that would happen to me. At that moment, I knew that my story was going to motivate aspiring football players. I feel blessed to be here at a very young age because not everyone gets afforded such an opportunity,” Nkosi expressed with a smile on his face.
When asked who inspires him to work extremely hard, the Heidelberg-born footballer said his mom is his inspiration and his biggest supporter. He said: “my mom keeps me going, we’ve been through a lot. Every time I go into the pitch, the only thing I think about is my mom. This keeps me grounded and reminds me to remain disciplined and to work hard. It’s not about me anymore. Everything I do now is for her.”
Scara, as he is affectionately known, has been leading the Diski Team to a series of victories in the 2023/24 season of the DStv Diski Challenge. His leadership has been very evident and he has built a strong bond with his colleagues. He said the captaincy role came as a shock for him because he felt he didn’t have the expertise to get the job done.
“To be honest, I did not want to be a Captain because I didn’t think I had any leadership skills. My first game where I had to play as the Captain was not that great. I remember telling Coach Themba Badela that I couldn’t do it. Luckily Coach Themba encouraged and didn’t give up on me. I am growing into the role and learning,”Scara explained.
The Diski Team’s performances have improved and even after falling short in two of their games, the vision is still clear for Ntando and his colleagues. His main goal, just like his teammates, is to see the team lifting the silverware at the end of the season and this will be achieved by continuing with the winning mentality.