Mailula thanking fans for their support© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixAuthor: Dumisani Koyana‘Being humble and never forgetting where you come from’. These are the values that the mother of Bafana Ba Style’s breakout star, Cassius Mailula, instilled in her son. The 21-year-old may be soft spoken off the pitch but his goalscoring abilities speak volumes on the field of play. Mailula’s formidable debut saw him become one of the most sought-after players on the African continent. Following his promotion to the Mamelodi Sundowns’ senior team this season, the striker has caught the interest of the footballing community and fans alike, scoring multiple goals across competitions. When asked about his source of motivation, Mailula expressed that playing for the first team has always been his dream. “My drive has always come from my dedication to work hard and earn a spot in the senior team and change my family’s circumstances,” said Mailula.

The talented striker has scored an impressive sixteen goals across all competitions this season. However, the journey has not been smooth sailing. Adjusting to the team’s style of play has been a challenging factor for him. Mailula expressed that he had to break out of his shell to gel with the team, “I won’t lie, playing in the senior team is not easy. At first, it was challenging to adapt to everything that was happening. It felt surreal to be playing alongside footballers who I used to see on the field when I was still a ball boy.”
Cassius celebrating a goal© Muzi Ntombela - BackpagePixThe Masandawana striker spoke about what it felt like when joining the team and who guided him during his adjustment, “Initially it was overwhelming but the senior players kept supporting me. Themba Zwane and Bongani Zungu kept reminding me that it is okay to make mistakes because they provide learning curves in order to improve one’s game. Hearing those words from seasoned professionals motivated me to work towards finding my rhythm and giving me the opportunity to really enjoy the game.”

Furthermore, the youngster shared some insight on his state of mind leading up to his debut against Chippa United, “When I was told that I was going onto the pitch, I could not believe it! The score was at a stalemate and the tempo of the game was high. I was really nervous but with the guidance from the coaches and my fellow teammates, I settled into the game quickly. Getting maximum points on the day was the cherry on top.”
Cassius embraces Coach Rulani during a match© Gavin Barker - BackpagePixThe Ga-Molepo born footballer joined the Brazilians at the tender age of 14 years. Mailula shared how he coped in a new environment and adapted to the big city. "Moving away from home at a young age was a bit daunting. However, my desire to improve the lives of my family, particularly my single mother, kept me going. I am not only doing this for myself, but for my family and the kids back at home.”

Speaking on who was key to him settling at the club when joining the academy, “Our house mother at the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy, Nomonde Nobela, residence made me feel at home. My coaches also played a huge role in my performance, with a special mention to Coach Godfrey Sapula. He really helped me enhance my skills. Additionally, after only being at the club for a few months, I was afforded the opportunity to travel the world (China and Japan) and win some trophies. That was the first time I flew in a plane!”, admitted the young striker. “I believe that is where my winning mentality started and is what drives me to give my best in whatever I do.”
Cassius celebrating a goal with teammates during the Carling Black Label Cup© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixMailula has earned high praise and plaudits since his formidable rise. Earlier this year, he became the youngest football player, in Mamelodi Sundowns history, to score ten goals in a season. The youngster shared that he was honored by the historic achievement. “I am so grateful for this milestone. It makes me think about everything that I have been through over the past few months. I did not expect to play regularly and score as many goals as I have in my first season with the senior team.”

With his fantastic goal scoring form and showing no signs of stopping, the 21 year-old spoke about his personal ambitions how he plans to achieve them, “Two years ago, my immediate objectives were to get promoted to the senior team and and play CAF Champions League. Through hard work, determination and by God’s grace, I am living that dream. Like any other footballer, I aspire to play for a big team in Europe one day.”
When asked about the European football club that he wishes to play for, Cassius smiled and responded, “Chelsea! I have always been a big fan of the club.”
Mailula celebrating a goal with Grant Kekana and Teboho Mokoena© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixFour Things you did not know about Mailula:1.He enjoys playing FIFA23 with fellow Masandawana player, Ntando Nkosi.2.He enjoys binge watching on Netflix.3.He has a song composed by the Yellow Nation.
( I was shocked at Orlando Stadium when I was called to come to the side where the supporters were and I was told they have a song about me)
4.He has one sibling.