Jabu ‘Pule’ Mahlangu recently revealed: “I’ve never shied away from the fact that I come from a background of alcoholics. Alcohol was part of my life… fact!”
He continued: “I didn’t drink because I became famous, noooo. I grew up drinking while I was becoming famous.
These are the words of an exceptionally open and honest Jabu Pule... A player who saw his career take a back step due to his rebellious off field behavior and lavish lifestyle.
Sadly, there have been many players who saw their careers end in similar ways. The money, the fame and temptation proved too much for them to handle and it has often landed up being to their detriment.
To get things started, Pule’s story is probably one of the most open and honest ones brought forth to the public. In Soccer Laduma’s 900th edition, the former Kaizer Chiefs man admits that he had a drinking problem, spent his money before he got it, and fell victim to peer pressure.
The 34-year-old admitted that he would stay out longer in a club getting wasted in order to impress his friends rather than come home early to be fresh for training.
Once considered as one of the brightest talents in the game, Mahlangu’s questionable lifestyle saw him ruin alliances with SuperSport United, who sent him to rehab on a number of occasions. Shuffle effectively played his last season at the age of 30 with Osters IF.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns man was known for being particularly active off the field and in the bedroom too.
During his rise to fame, Mohlala became a well-known public figure for his skill on the field and his rise in economical fortune. He once described his siwtch as ‘moving to Sundowns was like moving to New York. You grow in fame and become a celebrity.’
It was at Chloorkop when things started to get out of hand. The parties were bigger, the women chasing after him had doubled and the bank budget had more depth to it. eHowever, he never realized how in over his head he got and football soon became his second priority with the women and fame being his first.
It was a messy scenario that saw Mohlala end up club-less, after he moved to seven clubs in the space of six years, and bankrupt with absolutely nothing left to his name.
This boy’s career was over before it even started. Like the stories mentioned above, the Mathatha-born winger has been trouble since he first emerged on the scene.
Considered to possess trickery like that of Cristiano Ronaldo in his early days, this eccentric player has been in an out of rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse.
Still yet to even feature regularly in the PSL, Zongo will always be a case of misfortune and a player who never truly got to display his talent.
Still young, however, there is a slight glimmer of hope that he will come right.
Like his good friend, Jabu, Steve was meant to be the next best thing on the South African football scene, and his story is similar to that of Shuffle’s... in that he left the game far too quickly.
With the high life, temptation and the money knocking on his door, Lekoelea sadly saw his career and cash diminish as qiuck as he got it..
Still only 35-year-old, Chippa would still be playing today if it weren’t for his behavior off the field.
Oh OJ, what happened to you? A player whose career that was meant to lead him to the biggest clubs across Europe... His quick feet, strength and composure turned into him guzzling down bottles, stumbling over his steps and losing his grip on his career.
Having once graced the likes of White Hart Lane with his skills, he was cast into a shadow or criticism when he had to go through a string of disciplinary issues back in 2004. This happened just months after he was stripped of his Bafana captaincy after going AWOL from the squad.
In 2006 he was slapped with a six-month ban for use of an illegal substance and in December 2008 he was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol. What a loss to such a promising career.