© Gavin BarkerAuthor: NJ HoveThe new generation of Yellow Nation supporters might have heard tales of the Club’s iconic players and thrilling matches that defined the mid-2000s. Godfrey Sapula, fondly known as ‘The Godfather,’ is one of those legendary figures who dazzled on the field with his remarkable talent and continues to inspire with his presence on the sidelines today.
Sapula enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Chloorkop playing for Mamelodi Sundowns between 2002 and 2008, winning two league titles, a Nedbank Cup, multiple Telkom Charity Cups and a string of individual accolades.

His dazzling footwork and eye for a killer pass made him a fan favorite, and he contributed to the team’s relentless pursuit of trophies. Even after hanging up his boots, Sapula’s passion for the beautiful game remained undimmed. He transitioned seamlessly into coaching, bringing his experience and knowledge to nurture the next generation at the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy U-17 team between 2011 and 2017. Currently, he coaches the MTigers in the Gauteng ABC Motsepe League, a stepping stone for promising young players.

Just recently, Godfrey earned his CAF A License Diploma. Other members of Mamelodi Sundowns who graduated with the CAF A licence are Marcus Mashilo, Academy Goalkeeper Coach; Tiro van Rooyen; and the legendary former captain of Masandawana, Michael Manzini, who is an assistant coach in the Diki Team. Expressing his excitement to the Mamelodi Sundowns Digital Magazine.
© Gavin Barker“This achievement, for me and my colleagues, would not have been possible without the support of the Club. Whilst the accomplishment comes with a lot of excitement it also carries increased expectations to do more. I got my CAF B licence in 2012 and ever since, I have been waiting for this opportunity. At a Club like Mamelodi Sundowns, there is a need to achieve success consistently and uphold a tradition of excellence. With my CAF A Coaching License, I am ready to contribute even more to the team’s success and continue developing talented players for the future,” said the Soweto-born Coach.

The Godfather fondly remembers his first few days after completing his move to Chloorkop, “It was a privilege to join Mamelodi Sundowns. In my first few days, I saw Roger Feutmba and I was to take over the Number 10 shirt from him. He generously offered it to me and that was the beginning of a fantastic journey. Sharing the pitch with several high-quality players in the dressing room and on the field was an incredible experience.”
© Gavin BarkerHaving enjoyed several incredible years with Bafana Ba Style, Godfrey highlighted the 2006/2007 campaign as his favorite at the Club: “I played my best football that season and was named PSL Player of the Season, PSL Player’s Player of the Season and most of the sports magazines in South Africa named me Player of the Season. I was also named the Club’s Player of the Season.”

The midfield marshall also shared what he believes is the Club’s secret to sustained success and winning multiple titles.

“Many high-quality people are working at the Club and the success is evident both on-and-off the pitch. When I joined the Mamelodi Sundowns, President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe made us believe in the vision of the Masandawan. The current Chairman, Tlhopie Motsepe echoes the same message and encourages us to work hard. At Mamelodi Sundowns, giving 100 percent is never enough. This is why everyone is motivated to strive for excellence every day, whether they are on the field or behind the scenes,” he added.

When asked which players he regarded as the best he ever played with, the Godfather was spoilt for choice, “This is tough to describe because I played with so many talented players. But I will pick Esrom Nyandoro and Surprise Moriri because they best understood my style of play and protected me in midfield.”
© Gavin BarkerSapula further praised the team for clinching their seventh straight Premier Soccer League (PSL) trophy and highlighted some of the players he enjoys watching.
“The current generation of players continues to rewrite the record books and winning their 7th straight title which is 14th overall, is just incredible. I enjoy watching the current team, especially Themba Zwane, Teboho Mokoena, Siyabonga Mabena and Sphelele Mkhulise (both of whom I know very well, having coached them during the early stages of their careers).”

Sapula earned 26 senior international caps for South Africa and described what it meant to play for Bafana Bafana. “It is always a dream to receive a national call-up. I played in a position where South Africa had lots of talents like Doctor Khumalo, Eric Tinkler, etc. I also remember playing with the likes of Benni McCarthy, Shaun Bartlett, Thabo Mngomeni and so on. My debut was against Gabon; I came on as a substitute and never looked back after that,” he added.

When asked about which piece of advice he would give to young aspiring footballers, the Sundowns legend stated, “Go for your dreams! Pursue them with lots of commitment. Football requires not only talent but also hard work, dedication and belief in your abilities. Stay focused, keep improving and never be satisfied with mediocrity,” Godfrey concluded.
Godfrey Sapula Fun CornerThe funniest teammates he shared a dressing room with:
Peter Ndlovu and Surprise Moriri (who are both colleagues now).
The career path he would have taken if not for football:
Beyond football, I have an interest in interior design and electrical engineering. I was good at maths and science.
If given a blank cheque, the three players in world football he would have in his team:
Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne
Greatest African footballing legend of all time:
Jay Jay Okocha and Lucas Radebe, for their incredible skills and impact on the game.
Favorite food:
A hearty meal of chicken, spinach, and potatoes hits the spot for Sapula.
Musical Tastes:
Sapula enjoys the smooth sounds of R&B and Soul, with a special love for Afro-pop.
Film Preferences:
Crime movies captivate him, particularly classics like ‘The Heat’ featuring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Travel Favorites:
For relaxation and adventure, Zanzibar and Mauritius are his top choices.
Godfrey Sapula’s All-time Sundowns XI:
When asked about his All-time Sundowns XI, Godfrey Sapula asked for a couple of days 😂 before coming up with his team. While he highly regards several outstanding players who have represented and still represent the Mamelodi Sundowns, the following could only make his star-studded team:

Starting XI:
GK: Denis Onyango
DF: Michael Manzini
DF: Themba Mnguni
DF: Lovers Mohlala
DF: Khuliso Mudau
MF: Teboho Mokoena
MF: Roger Feutmba
MF: Godfrey Sapula
ST: Themba Zwane
ST: Surprise Moriri
ST: Daniel Mudau

Substitutes: Ronwen Williams, Mbulelo Mabizela, Hlompho Kekana, Sizwe Motaung, Ernest Mtawali, Esrom Nyandoro, Peter Shalulile, Raphael Chukwu, Teko Modise, and Percy Tau.

Find the full team in the image below.