Throwback Thursday: Tonic Chabalala
Posted: 4 January 2018 Time: 13:00
Former Orlando Pirates defender Tonic Chabalala says life has not been without its challenges after hanging up his boots but what has worked in his favour is accepting he had to move on.
Chabalala has been running a company called Toned Trading Enterprise in Malamulele, Limpopo since 2009 following his release from Pirates after spending four years at Mayfair.
“It's not easy to switch from football to something else but what made it easy for me was to accept that I was no longer playing football anymore and I had to do other things,” Chabalala tells KickOff.com.
“So when I look at other players, they don't accept that their careers are finished and can't do other things and move on with life.
“It's not easy because you played football for many years and when you are no longer playing you must look for another job where you will work from in the morning till late compared to football where you just go to training and go home afterward. It is not the same, so that becomes a huge challenge.”
Besides managing his business which services the construction industry, Chabalala is also developing football in the region. He staged the inaugural Malamulele Real Fighters tournament from December 20-24 last year.
“We saw that in our area we don't have a football team or players who are currently playing in the PSL. So we came up with a suggestion that we must buy a team from the Motsepe League but we didn't because the team which we were supposed to buy, it was not in a good position on the log standings so we saw that was a risk.
“So the tournament we had in December, the aim was to get players from Malamulele who will play in the upcoming league, more especially from this area.
“If you look, it's only us in this area who don't have a team which plays in the Motsepe League, NFD and professional league. We started this tournament last year and we are planning to do it annually.”
Meanwhile, the 38-year-old says he is proud to have added value to the clubs he represented during his career, which also include Thanda Royal Zulu and Dynamos.
“What I would say when I was still playing football was performing well [his highlight] because it is not helping when you say you are playing football and you are not adding value where you are.
“So my best moment was all the teams I played for, I was adding value to them, that's what I'm proud about. And this shows that many people have not forgotten what we have contributed in football.”
He adds that his wife played a huge role in helping him save money during his playing days.
“It was not easy. It depends on you as an individual, how you do it and the people who are around you and how are they advising you.
“My wife played a huge role; she's the one who helped me to be where we are at the moment, as well as running the company and also saving money.”