Komphela: I spoke to Gabuza for 18 mins
Posted: 30 August 2018 Time: 09:00
Bloemfontein Celtic coach Steve Komphela has revealed the message he shared with Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza following his recent outburst.
Gabuza has been on the receiving end of some harsh criticism and abuse – more so in recent times, to such a point where he could no longer contain his emotions and went haywire during Pirates' 2-1 win over Black Leopards in Polokwane on Tuesday.
Komphela, who went through something similar – minus the reaction – during his time as Kaizer Chiefs coach, has since shared some words of advice not only to the 31-year-old striker, but also stressing the important role of media in shaping the way society perceives things.
“I spent 18 minutes 35 seconds today [Wednesday] talking to Gabuza while they were on their way [home] from Polokwane,” revealed Komphela after Celtic’s 2-2 draw with Chiefs last night.
“The biggest challenge with us human beings is to look at what we want to achieve and without acknowledging the person across from us is also human. Competition must not bring an element of ruthlessness and irrational actions, you have to remain rational.
“What I said to Gabuza was taken from my own lessons, which is nobody’s fault – it’s life. Media has a huge role – I’m even tapping on my feet, I wish you could spend time so that you could sit down and get into my mind in terms of how I see things regarding society and reflecting on the game of sport.
“Sport is nothing else but education. The role of sport and the role of education are similar. The role of media as well is crucial, because you can direct the angle and how society sees things. But if we don’t assume such responsibility, we’ll face such [negative consequences].
“I’m not hanging anyone or holding anyone accountable, but rather just questioning whether we’re taking enough responsibility to give direction as leaders. You [media] lead, ladies and gentleman.
“Now the biggest challenge with you [media] is that you’re facing ‘social’ media, and you have no control over that. You know, there’s nothing as nice as reading an opinion in a newspaper, and this [writer] gives you a different perspective.
“But there can never be an opinion deep, thorough and well thought out on social media. Sometimes it is people who, unfortunately, are faceless, so how do you then listen to someone who [has no real identity]?
“Some of them [critics] are out there just to break you because they actually support another club, not that they are genuine with their utterances. And these kids [players] can see and they listen, which takes me to what I said to Gabuza.
“I said, ‘Hey baba, you must put on a positive a filter’. When we grew up … Do you know Snowflake cake flower, the one you bake with? You know there’s that thing called a sift? I used that example.
“I said, ‘Where we come from, that flower would have worms, my man. We come from poverty like you’d you never understand, so it would have worms. What Mommy would do is take a sift and shake, shake, shake … Have the same lens in your eyes and ears. See positive. When you see positive, you’ll feel positive, you’ll act positive. But if you go on and listen to all that is said that is negative about you, it’s going to kill you, my man’.
“These guys have no counsellors. They never get introduced to playing professional football. There’s a kid at 19, but who told him, ‘These are the challenges’?
“After a defeat, what do you say to [Siphosakhe] Ntiya-Ntiya? Nobody guides them, they’ve got nobody helping them. So what do you do? You, as a coach, must consistently have these small-nyana classes.
“So the second thing I said to Gabzua, ‘Listen, my man. The only way to come out of this – I might say, be strong, be strong, but I need to equip you with tools on how to be strong. Now, this is what you do: You’re driving home, what’s your favourite music?’ He said R’nB.
“I said, ‘Go to the Apple playlists, go search for R’nB and try to download. The more you get that, it gives you positive energy and you forget the rest. When you arrive at the club, where’s your car – is it clean or dirty? Go and do what you like most’.
“There has to be a repetition of all these beautiful small things that ties you and gives you life. So that these consistent positives will make you feel light.
“I told him, ‘Go to adidas, get the t-shirt you want and spoil yourself. You got paid, it’s month-end – thanks God. So if this [incident] has happened, and there’s a pair of sneakers you want but your budget is tight, forget your budget. Look after your emotions. Go buy that pair of shoes’.
“It gives you positive energy because the world is up against you. Nobody’s going to look after you, you have to look after yourself. Nobody is going to give you a big gift of positivity, but it’s a series of events that are positive.
“Even a meal – go and enjoy your favourite meal, go to your favourite restaurant. By so doing, you’re getting therapy and you’ll never be angry against anybody. They’ll be asking, ‘How does this guy not get angry?’ Because I’m wearing a different lens, my man – positive.”