How Chiefs twice rejected Pirates star


Former Kaizer Chiefs captain and assistant coach Patrick Mabedi says he tried twice to bring his countryman Gabadinho Mhango to the club but the move just couldn't materialise.

Mhango who currently plays for Chiefs' rivals Orlando Pirates, is enjoying great form for both his club and country Malawi.

The 27-year-old striker has netted four times in 10 games for the Buccaneers including in the last two Soweto Derbies against Amakhosi.

He also scored the winner for Malawi in a 1-0 victory over South Sudan in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Wednesday.

VIEW: Mhango leads top 10 dribblers in the PSL

Mabedi, who engineered Mhango's move to South Africa, says he spoke to both Kaizer Motaung and his son Bobby Motaung about the player.

"No look, the boy is talented. If I tell you the background of that boy you will feel sad and you won't believe it," Mabedi tells

"I know him better than anyone else because I am the one who brought him here to South Africa. I brought him to [Bloemfontein] Celtic, he started his career at Celtic. He was staying by my house and I even paid his tickets and everything from Malawi to come this side.

"And I had to negotiate for his club, former club, which is my former club. The officials they were there and because I was good with them they managed to release him. And I brought him here. I think the first time I sent him to AmaZulu, and it never worked. And he went to Free State, it never worked.

"So the last opportunity if you remember it was [Clinton] Larsen who was coaching Celtic, then I sent him to him because I told him, 'This boy, be patient and give him a chance.' And the first year that they signed him I think he scored nine goals. He was close to [Bernard] Parker if I'm not mistaken. He was second top goalscorer in the league.

READ: Mtawali: Mhango reminds me of Sikhosana

"So I think it's how it started but I used to look after him even when he was in Malawi. You can even ask him, he will tell you.

"But actually he comes from a background whereby you know he comes from a little bit of a struggling family, and he managed to push, to liberate himself. He was relying on playing football with my former team... but he was going to end off his career in Malawi because of stress, and frustration of other things... it was disturbing him.

"But I said no, I won't allow this boy just to hang up his boots like this, he's still young, I need to help him and I have to make a passport for him and I had to do all my best that I can to bring him to this country.

"He showed what he's capable of because that boy is just born talented. That's how I know him, that's how I can tell you about the boy. I know him pretty well and he's my boy.

READ: 'Kotei must be big to be signed by Chiefs'

"And even those days my aim was to bring him to Chiefs, but unfortunately you know you can't go to Chiefs in those moments when you haven't made a name anywhere, and there's doubts about it.

"That was my wish [for him], to play at Chiefs for the first time, but it was not easy because you must remember Chiefs those days they had very good quality players and you had to go there with a big brand you know, that you've done something out there.

"So it was difficult for the boy to go that's why I said no let's just divert him to the other teams and once he makes himself a name then he can go further his career. But I'm happy for him now, and I'm proud of him now. And I think it's all about his talent you know, he's trying to prove what he is capable of doing, and he deserves to be playing in Europe as you saw his qualities.

"In those days I spoke to the chairman, even Bobby and they are aware of that. But unfortunately like I said it's not easy my man just to go to Chiefs, you have to go and do something. It's like to be a director of a company, you must have that big and sparkling and spiced-up CV, that they've seen you that you progressed there and there.

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"So it was not easy for him just to be accepted to come there because we had also talent there. I think it was also good for him because sometimes things happen in life for a reason, for the sake of God. Because if he went there maybe those days, then maybe he wouldn't be able to play games and shine and also prove that this is what he is you know.

"Sometimes don't blame anything that has happened because once he was not taken by them it was a blessing so that he can make his name for himself... as he does now."

Mabedi says he tried again to get Mhango to Chiefs when he was an assistant coach to Giovanni Solinas.

"Ya you know like I said sometimes things may not happen the way you wanted it, but sometimes it's God who says no it won't happen the way you wanted. So I think it was a blessing also for him. Maybe it was not the right time for him, maybe it is the right time now for him that he needs to shine and show people what experience he has got and how he knows South African football.

"I did actually insist [he be signed by Chiefs] but like I said you can only do so much but if it's not the right time, it's not the right time. You just need to accept it."

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Mabedi believes this is the right time for the striker to move overseas.

"Ya no he's got chances of going overseas. I think he's consistent. Like I said he's on top of his game, and I strongly believe that this is the time for him shine or go wherever he wants to go, and he's going to make it. He just even scored for the national team so this is the reflection of who he is now."