Timothy Nkosi living up to 'RDP' name


Ever-popular former soccer star Timothy 'RDP' Nkosi reveals how he is continuing to live up to his nickname to this day and explains how he got the moniker.

Mamelodi-born Nkosi is best remembered for his time at Moroka Swallows, where he became somewhat of a cult figure for The Dube Birds.

Check out pictures of 'RDP' in action for Swallows above

His first professional club was Witbank Aces in 1990 but his big break came at Pretoria City, where he was given a chance to play and earned R800 salary per month.

He also featured for Umtata Bush Bucks, Real Rovers, Ria Stars, Dynamos and SuperSport United before he retired.

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In his entire career the central midfielder won only one trophy while playing for Bucks – the 1993 Coca-Cola Cup.

"I received the medal even though I didn't play in the final, I was sick. The game was against Santos at FNB," Nkosi recalls to KickOff.com.

"I enjoyed my football at more than two teams. At Real Rovers that's where everybody now started to know there was a Timothy 'RDP' Nkosi.

"Even though the money was not right because I was paid R1 200, and you get it this month, the following month you don't get it, you will get it the other month.

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"But playing-wise that's where I made a name for myself. That's where South Africa knew about me. Even the nickname I got it there, from another grootman Junior Rammusi. He was a PRO at Real Rovers and he was more involved in politics you see.

"You remember when 'Tata' [Nelson Mandela] came out of jail he started this thing of RDP houses. At Rovers I was the only player who had been with a professional club before.

"So bra Junior said, 'Because you Timothy played in the centre, you are here to reconstruct and develop our players.' That's how the name stuck with me you see."

'RDP' gives a special mention to SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows – the two clubs that brought the most into his life.

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"Financially I enjoyed playing at SuperSport. When it comes to looking after their players, SuperSport is top notch. There they have a medical aid, and around the 27th and the 28th your money was already in the bank," he says.

"Today I've been in England because of SuperSport. I saw Switzerland because of SuperSport playing in the Africa what-what. We were on our way to Libya but there was no flight from South Africa going direct to Libya. So we had to go via Switzerland and England to get to Libya. We would sleep in those countries before leaving for Libya.

"Swallows too I enjoyed my time there. I was brought to Swallows by Chicco Twala and Mike Mangena when they bought shares from the late David Chabeli.

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"But things started deteriorating at Swallows when Chabeli fought with both of them and they left. Chabeli robbed us big-time when it came to money.

"He would say, 'No my boy, the likes of Chicco have spoiled you. Chicco and Mike don't know football. The only thing Chicco knows is music, and Mike was my player you can't tell me anything about football, I know football, I've been in this game for long now.'"

Nkosi says he retired at Dynamos in 2004 to spend time with his family.

"I'm married my brother with three kids, two boys and one girl. My first-born is 30 years old now, he drives the family cars transporting school children. My second-born is 26 and is a soldier. My daughter is 12 and she's in Grade 7. My wife also transports school kids. She used to work at Pep but she resigned."

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Nkosi has followed his nickname 'RDP' and today builds houses to put food on the table.

"[Laughs] I'm with a construction company KJM [Khulisile Joseph Mthombeni] Business Enterprise. It is based here at KwaMhlanga. He builds houses even in Limpopo, but around Mpumalanga mostly. I'm just managing the company my brother. My house is in Tweefontein-K."

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