It felt weird being in an office having previously spent his days on the training pitch after waking up each day.
Maselesele, who played for Chiefs, Manning Rangers and Zulu Royals (AmaZulu) during his playing days, first worked for a company called Kaelo Worldwide Sports media.
“As a footballer, being out there on the field is great. It’s the best job you can ever ask for because you are doing what you love. So having to go work in an office, from nine to five in front of a laptop, is a big transition. It brings a lot of change, but you learn a lot,” Maselesele says.
“The good thing is what I am working with something I am used to, which is sport. It’s not like working in engineering or another industry where I would be bored.
“When I started, I worked for Kaelo Worldwide Sports media. I was doing sports events and tournaments for them. Mostly we were doing CSI initiatives with Metropolitan, who were sponsors of the Bayhill Premier Cup [in Cape Town]. I was in charge of marketing, making sure that people in the province were aware of the tournament. We did road shows and radio interviews so that people know that the tournament is being played. I also did life skills programmes for the kids who were playing in the tournament.”
Organising tournaments was totally different to playing in them.
“When I was a player I would go to tournaments and everything would be planned. All we needed to do was go on to the field, warm-up and then play. Now here I am planning tournaments from scratch, which is very interesting.”
Maselesele left Kaelo to work for Bidvest MSC Sports and his workload grew as he started looking after the lives of players and coaches.
“From there I went to Bidvest MSC Sports. It’s a company which deals with marketing, sport advertising and sports events. They used to manage me before I retired because they also have a division which manages athletes, from rugby, to cricket and soccer players.
“I worked as a client manager there, which was a nice venture because I had been in soccer for almost all my life. I had to look after players and coaches, which included Gavin Hunt, Gordon Igesund, Reneilwe Lethoslonyane and Moeneeb Josephs. I had to look after their needs. I was not dealing with contracts, but I looked after personal sponsors for players and also looked after their needs in terms of buying houses and cars. Also we looked after young players who were coming up the ranks. Both those jobs were a big transition.”
Maselesele was prepared for life after football because he studied during his playing days. When he was banned for using a banned substance, it gave him time to focus on his studies. He was banned for two years for using benzolytecgonine – a metabolite of cocaine.
“I studied so that I can get qualifications. After the ban I had for two years I was playing, it kind of gave me a lot of thinking to do. In the interim, I asked myself what I was going to do. I finished my matric at school of excellence and never touched a book after that. So reality kicked in during that suspension, so I thought I can achieve something. I was bored at home because I was not allowed to train, so I decided to enrol and do higher certificate in sports management with Unisa. It was a good course for me because it touched on sports. It gave me good encouragement and it instilled discipline during that suspension. I also did a diploma in business management because once you start studying you don’t want to stop. I also did a computer course, to learn the basics of IT. You become an example to other players, to say that there is life after football and school is important.”