Photo by Blessing Mabunda
By: Blessing Mabunda
Being a football agent looks difficult if one doesn’t have a good financial background but not for Yohanna Mathevula (20) from Xikukwani village outside the town of Giyani.
Mathevula developed the love of football from an early age. “I was doing grade 7 when this call came to my life at the age of 12. I started by buying myself original sport T-shirts and everyone was just amazed at how I was spending money buying things that meant nothing to them just because I was still a young boy”, said Mathevula.
His dream became realised in 2014 when he was doing grade 10, when he started a sports agency, Sundani Sports Group.
“I named this agency after my mother because I felt that she deserved to be honoured. It happened that I managed 3 players who happened to be my School mates, Innocent Sambo, Irvin Chavalala and my young brother Lyden Mathevula to Benny’s care sports Academy the one that represented South Africa in France”, he said.
“In 2015 I raised the bar when I managed an international player from Botswana to come into South Africa to be part of Bilika All Stars that was campaigning in the ABC Motsepe league. I also had 3 players from my home village, namely Ndzalama Ngobeni , Byron Chavalala and Evans Chavalala and they impressed coach Dennis Madzivani”, added Mathebula
Late in the year Mathebula signed his village footballer, Ntsako Mthombeni to Polokwane based club, Polokwane United playing in the ABC Motsepe League.
“I was too excited and I couldn’t believe that it was happening. The move I made boosted my confidence as I went straight to the PSL reserve league, Polokwane City where I sent two players, Lesedi Kapinga and Manyane Marubini, and things didn’t work out for me because I failed to get clearance certificates for these two players and I was disappointed because if I could have done that deal it could have put me in spotlight”, he added
In 2016 Mathevula arranged a few trials for one of his clients in the National First Division (NFD) sides such as FC Cape town. “He was assessed for more than 2 and a half weeks where they were impressed but they could not sign him because of lack of fitness.
I organised him more trials and he went to clubs such as Witbank Spurs and Amatuks and wasn’t offered a deal until he was signed by Vasco da Gama, now named Stellenbosch FC in the NFD, and to me it was something that I had been hustling for but I had just told myself that everything had got its own time”, said Mathebula
Later in the year 2016, Mathebula took 2 of his clients, Sthembiso Miya from Gauteng and Wiseman Shabangu from Benny’s Care Sports Academy to Bellevue Winners Park campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League in Limpopo.
“This year I took Nhlanhla Makhubele, a 19 year old defender from Wilson Express Football Club, campaigning in the SAB League to Baroka FC reserve side and everything went well and when their MDC team closed I had to organise him a Special assessment with Highlands Parks FC. Makhubele is now training with the Lions of the
North Highlands Parks”, added Mathebula.
Makhubele has been with Black Leopards football club as their social media manager for four years now.”I’m a volunteer at the club and I’m really enjoying my time as I get to know a lot of football club managers to connect and exchange contact details”, he said.
Here is a list of players Mathebula manages:
Tshepo Mabua of Stellenbosch FC (NFD), Angero Jonasse Costal Do Sol (Mozambique Premier league), Manyane Marubini of Black Leopards FC (NFD), Sithembiso Miya and Wiseman Shabangu of BV winners park both (SAB League) Tshepo Magou Supersport United (MDC), Ntlakuso Rikhotso Tshakhuma (Abc Motsepe), Nhlanhla Makhubele former Baroka FC (MDC), Lungelo Bhengu of Kaizer Chiefs FC (Reserved league) , Muxe Mchavi of Wilson Express FC (Sab League).