How 'Mshishi' very nearly joined Pirates


Mamelodi Sundowns star Themba Zwane has opened up about the time Orlando Pirates were after his services and explains why he really wanted to join The Brazilians.

Zwane is now into his 10th year since joining Sundowns from then Vodacom League side Vardos FC in January 2011, and has risen to the cream of the crop at the club.

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‘Mshishi’ has played a starring role for Pitso Mosimane’s Absa Premiership defending champions this season, scoring nine league goals and assisting three in 16 appearances.

However, speaking exclusively to, the 30-year-old has revealed how he very nearly ended up at one of Downs’ big PSL rivals, but fate had it that he would play for the same team he grew up loving.

“At the time, I thought it was only Sundowns [who wanted to sign me] but after I signed, I heard even Pirates was interested, but I didn’t know about them,” Zwane reveals.

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“I know Sundowns spoke to Vardos – Sinky Mnisi [current Highlands Park director] is the one who told me, ‘Hey, Sundowns is serious about you, so when you come back from camp…’ – because I was in camp for SA under-23 – ‘…you need to go to Sundowns and sign.’

“By that time I didn’t have an agent, so Sinky – he was the chairman at Vardos at the time and he was the one managing me – so Pirates spoke to him but I only found out later on.

“But for me, obviously I wanted to play for Sundowns because I’m from Tembisa and my favourite player was playing there at the time, Lerato Chabangu, who I always saw in the kasi and we always had a chat. He was always pushing me, you know.”

The skilful winger is now one of the big stars at Chloorkop as The Buccaneers are left to rue their missed opportunity, which almost came to fruition in 2014.

READ: Pirates interested in signing Zwane