From being a snazzy dresser to being one of the most quoted men in society, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Steve Komphela is not a man to be boxed into a preconceived notion of what a leader or man ought to be.
He was recently honoured by the Raising Legends Awards for his consistent contribution to the South African sports industry.
The awards are aimed at celebrating the boy child and living legends who are seen as role models for young boys looking to become better and successful men.
This honour comes at a time he celebrates 20 years as a soccer coach.
The golden boy of Kroonstad said he felt excited for the recognition, but insisted that no person was flawless and a boy child should know it is OK to make mistakes if they are willing to fix them and carry on trying to be great people.
“The honour points to the importance of a boy child in society. The boy child has always had an influence on the community because they would protect the family or find means to feed the family.
“They have basically been pillars of many families and societies.
“When we focus on boy children, we rebuild what they have been known for. This must be done in a way that appreciates this boy and allows them to show emotion because we are in need of future happy and successful men. The narrative that men are trash should stop,” said Komphela.
He said South Africa is faced with the horror of depressed boys who grow up to commit suicide, or are involved in gender-based violence. However, he believes the sports world is important in helping a boy child get through depression and teaches core human values.
The former teacher feels sport and education complement each other in importance.
“The sporting industry has heavy responsibility as well as the education department because both try to civilise and create a better person out of all of us, and build knowledge.
“Sports teaches core human values such as loyalty, honesty and peace. This is if you allow it to work within you,” he said.
Komphela kicked off his coaching career with the now- defunct Durban-based football club Manning Rangers in 2002, having spent 12 years as a footballer.
He began his career at Klerksdorp City in 1985, and moved to Free State Stars where he played in the National Soccer League, which later joined forces with the National Professional Soccer League to form today’s National Soccer League.
His debut match was a win against Witbank Aces.
He played for Kaizer Chiefs from 1993 and later for teams abroad.
“Sports is essential, and I have realised this while taking part in it.
“I played and coached different teams, and now I cannot say what you can expect from me in future because I cannot predict it.
“What is essential at this moment is to urge parents and mentors to speak to these young boys and tell them that no one is perfect, and when they see us making mistakes it is simply because we too are human. This way we can grow a better man for the future,” he said.
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