Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) midfielder Xolani ‘Blackberry’ Nkala has described the move to the club as a dream come true and an opportunity to better his life.
Nkala is famous for his showboating skills during Kasi festive tournaments in and around Gauteng in the colours of Mambas FC, an amateur team he played for before penning a deal with TTM.
One of Nkala’s videos went viral globally after what appeared to be a pointless trick where he put the ball in between his thighs and started dancing.
The 26-year-old was once in the books of Mbombela United during 2017/18 and the 2018/19 season but did not feature much.
However, a move to Limpopo at TTM was an opportunity for Nkala to revive his professional career and he has already become a fan favourite amongst the TTM supporters.
“It has been good, hey. Coach (Lucky Nelukau) Mchichwa saw me playing in Kasi (township) and invited me to come to play for the team and it was a great move because I needed this opportunity to showcase my talent,” said Nkala.
“There is a difference [playing in eKasi and professional].
“The first time I got here, the coach told me that I am no longer playing eKasi football, but here we are playing for something big: to win the league, and we go to the DStv Premiership.
“I am playing for my family so that they can earn something and change their lives so it’s been a great move to come to TTM because professional football gives us a lot of opportunities so that we can give our families a better life,” said Nkala who has featured in all five matches for TTM in the Motsepe Foundation Championship this season.
“At TTM they don’t limit you, you play the way you want as long as the team gets the results and whatever you do it must benefit the team.
“I had to adjust as you know professional football is green, not like the gravel ground so I needed to buy new boots and all these staffs, I needed to adjust on how to dribble, and how to do the skill.
“So, it becomes simpler as I train; even my fitness level has improved.”
Nkala also opens up on his relationship with a former TTM player Tshepo ‘Skhwama’ Matete, who is also famous for his dribbling antics. Matete recently parted ways with TTM.
“He has inspired me because Skhwama made it possible that as skilful players we can break into the professional ranks.
“So, he inspired me a lot because Skhwama never gives up on me. It’s tough luck because he left the team for his own reasons but I was looking forward to playing with him but he has left a legacy so I have to carry the legacy,” added Nkala.