Mmegi Online :: Skhwama proves it’s not just about the ‘shibobos’
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Last Updated
Monday 19 November 2018, 18:00 pm.
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Skhwama proves it’s not just about the ‘shibobos’

Township Rollers’ signing of trickster, Tshepo ‘Skhwama’ Matete was seen as more of a commercial buy. The dreadlocked player arrived at Rollers on a two-year deal in the off-season on a free transfer.
By Kabelo Boranabi Fri 03 Nov 2017, 10:59 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Skhwama proves it’s not just about the ‘shibobos’








He had been in the books of South Africa’s ABSA Premiership log leaders, Baroka FC. Skhwama sa Mantariana (loosely translated as Italian Pocket) had only managed 87 minutes of football in the last season with only four appearances. Skhwama made 11 league appearances, with five coming from the bench while scoring a single goal in one and half years he spent with the Limpopo-based side. 

The 26-year-old rose to fame when his videos hit over 700,000 views on YouTube, sparking interest from a host of PSL clubs including Orlando Pirates before signing for Baroka FC. The YouTube sensation had not lived up to the demands of the modern football and found himself club less after being released by Bagaga in January.

He took a trip to the north in attempt to revive his career following the footsteps of fellow countrymen, Benedict Vilakazi, Papi Mokoena, Manqoba ‘Shakes’ Ngwenya. Matete’s arrival at Rollers divided opinion. He was seen as just an entertainer who could not meet the demands of football but has been one of the outstanding players in the Rollers squad this season. Serbian coach, Nikola Kavazovic has deployed ‘Skhwama’ to the full back role rather than his accustomed attacking midfield or wing roles.

The player has started six of the seven games getting the nod over the experienced Edwin Olerile and Kaone van der Westuhuizen. Despite being deployed in a defensive role, Skhwama still does the shibobos, tsamayas and all sorts of tricks that leave the Popa faithfuls on their feet whenever he has the ball on his feet. Matete declined an interview with Mmegi Sport due to the sour relationship he had with media in his native South Africa.

However, Rollers’ assistant coach, Mogomotsi Mpote ran out of superlatives for the player. Mpote, who ushered Matete to his first training session at Popa, said the player had a rather shy personality during arrival, which he says is common for any foreigner at any team.  He also said the player tried to tone down his style of play to

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the level of his teammates, but he advised him otherwise.

“I told him that we have signed Skhwama, so be Skhwama, be that player we heard about and seen on those videos. As time went on he became more comfortable. We were also patient with him until he became the player we see on the field week in, week out,” he said.

Mpote further said the technical team gave Matete the wing back role due to the attack-orientated play at Rollers. “When Nikola arrived we played 3-4-3 formation. It was him (Matete) and (Motsholetsi) Sikele who could execute the roles well. But we have since moved to the 4-3-3 and 4-1-2-3 formations and we have kept him at the left back role because he has showed his very impressive defending abilities.

“He gives 100% all the time; he is a very good player. He does those things even in training. He practices so that he perfects those tricks in front of the multitudes at the stadium. When we recruited him we knew that he is that sort of a player. So we advised him to play to his strength,” Mpote said. His teammate, Tshepo ‘Talk-talk’ Motlhabankwe appreciates Matete’s style of play as he said draws opponents which eases pressure on his teammates as he keeps his rivals ‘pocketed’.

“His forward passes are key. To me, he is someone who believes so much in himself. It is not easy to dispossess him; he is always working hard in the gym to build his body. We knew he was a trickster but he is a marvel to watch everyday at training. He doesn’t just do tricks, he reads the space very well and calculates our movements and the movements of the opponents hence why he always evades tackles.

“He practices a lot, I think what he does is God-given. He always beats our fellow mates in training but nna ga a kake a tshamekela mo go nna (he would not play near me),” the hard tackling Motlhabankwe jokingly said.

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