Story Behind My Nickname: Nsimbi


Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana centre-back Siyabonga Sangweni reveals how his famous nickname 'Nsimbi' is well-suited to his personality and character.

Unlike most of his peers who received their nicknames from fans and football journalists, the retired defender reveals how he was given the name by a coach in the first division.

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"I got mine from Malombo Sibiya, the former AmaZulu FC coach from KwaMashu," Sangweni tells

"We were at Nathi Lions, in Cape Town visiting Vasco Da Gama I think when he gave me the name. I think it was because of the way he saw me play, I didn't shy away from tackles.

"You know how the coloured guys play football in Cape Town, they are good at heading and they are strong.

"But in me, they met their match. So that's how I got the name, with our coach saying 'Hhayi this one is a Nsimbi Kayi Gobi, igotshw'e Jalimane'.

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"He was impressed with how I was so strong. No one would go past me easily on that day.

"To me, the nickname described who I was, my character. First of all, it's always been in my nature not to allow other boys to defeat me. Once I was on the field I would fight for the team.

"At first in the villages, I was called 'Washelel' Imali YamaMpondo'. But once I got to Ethekwini I said 'no I'm a nsimbi'."

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