Pirates legend stocking meat for a living


This week's Throwback Thursday visits Orlando Pirates legend Ronnie 'Mainline' Zondi, who spent five years marshalling the defence of the Sea Robbers.

Zondi also played for the famous Cape Town Spurs team that had the likes of David Nyathi, David Modise, Sebba Rodrigues, Kamaal Sait, Michael Jacobs, Mike 'Lollipop' Mhlanga, Eric Ramasike, Shaun Barlett, Thabo Mngomeni, Andre Arendse, Francis Shonhai, Zane Alexander, Roger Lupiya, Randall Borman, Manny Rodrigues and the late Reggie Jantjies at some stage.

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With Spurs the former defender won the NSL Castle League (now known as the Absa Premiership) and the Bob Save Super Bowl before moving on to SuperSport United and Bush Bucks before retiring in 2008 at the age of 36.

Zondi explains that he almost didn't join Pirates because of the paltry monetary offer he first received from the club.

"My first team was Orlando Pirates, I joined Pirates in 1989," Zondi tells KickOff.com.

"The explanation I got when I arrived there was that 'the team do not have money'. We were not signing contracts then, we just signed a registration form. And the issue of salaries was never negotiated, but well I was excited that I was signing for Orlando Pirates, can you imagine?

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"We never discussed the issue of salary and it was the shock of my life when they gave me a thousand rand, which I refused, and I stayed at home until they called me to the office and we discussed.

"I told them I wanted R5 000. So ja, I was paid R5 000. But then you know the story of salaries at Orlando Pirates.

"The most money I earned in football was when I was at Cape Town Spurs and at SuperSport. At Spurs I got about R35 000, SuperSport it was R45 000."

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These days the self-employed Zondi sells meat to the public to make a living.

"Er... I'm not working you see, I don't have your kind of stable salary. But I have things that I do to raise money for my needs," he reveals.

"I'm able to stock meat for any event or anybody... it's not a lot of money but other things I need at home they are paid for, I mean I'm staying in a house that is paid off. Ja, and my wife is working.

"There's a pamphlet I distribute, and you place an order and tell me what you want exactly. You give me time to stock what you require and I deliver it to you. I'm doing everything personally.

"I don't have challenges per se, I'm not complaining about anything. I can provide for myself and my family."

Previous Throwback Thursdays

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