Former Kaizer Chiefs Player of the Year, Kaizer Motaung Jr’s progress this season has once again been hampered by injuries, but he still managed to score the Club’s 600th goal since the inception of the Premier Soccer League back in 1996. In this interview, Anelka, as the player is affectionately known, talks about donning the Gold & Black, being the son of football icon, Kaizer Motaung, and his ambitions.
Do you still believe that you can still do better because the talent and the potential are there in you? I mean you are still able to make dangerous runs and get into scoring positions, only luck has not been on your side…
Kaizer Motaung: I think injuries have really hampered my season once more and at times it takes a while to get back to your best. I am still 120 per cent sure that I can still deliver for this great Club.
What do you think about fans who boo a player when he is not performing?
Kaizer Motaung: Fans should understand that players go out to give their best performance on the pitch. Sometimes in football things will not work your way and this happens to the best in the world. The fans always expect players to perform at the highest level and when that does not happen they vent their anger…it's a bit weird. A player can make one or two mistake in the first 20 minutes of the game and he later scores a winner to help his team. Booing can have a negative impact on a player…it is important that you have character because at the end of the day, our job is to perform.
Do you really mind about your appearance as I have seen you in Sandton City wearing Kaizer Chiefs shorts? Please tell us who your siblings are at home and where do they reside and how often do you go to England, apparently that is where you went to school?
Kaizer Motaung: (Laughs) I like to be relaxed at times and that does not mean I do not really care about the way I look. As a Glamour Boy we are always expected to dress up all the time and this is a culture that started from the Chairman (Kaizer Motaung) and the former players. Generally at home we like dressing up as well and put the best foot forward, but at times I like to chill in my shorts.
I have three sisters, Ruth, who is the older one, then Jessica, who is followed by Kemiso. I am the last-born. Then my parents are Bra K and Julegka and home is in Hyde Park. I have since moved out of my parents' home and I now stay with my girlfriend, Katherine, in Johannesburg North.
I still have quite a few friends in the UK. In fact most of my closest friends live there, but because of my schedule it is difficult to keep in touch. I go to Germany from time to time to visit my girlfriend's parents.
How did playing in Germany help you and secondly why are you and Josta Dladla always wearing white make-up at training?
Kaizer Motaung: Kaizer Chiefs have always been professional and I think we match some of the Clubs in Europe. Germany helped me though in terms of mental strength as I had to cope with being away from home and the weather conditions there. Playing wise, Germans put lots of emphasis on basics like first touch. If you deliver a top quality cross it is like a goal…all in all Germany helped my growth both from a physical and a mental point of view.
Oskido, that is called sunscreen (Laughing), we put it on to protect the skin because it can be hot sometimes. I think it is also keeping Josta and myself younger (Laughing).
Do you think you deserve to be in this team, taking into account the clear chances you miss and that you are always on the injury list? Moreover, AmaZulu wanted you but the Management refused…
Kaizer Motaung: If a player misses a chance at times it is not blown out of proportion, but when I do it is amplified…it is always taken into account that Kaizer, the son of the Chairman, missed an opportunity! I have proven myself before that I deserve to be part of this team. In the 2006/2007 season I was the highest South African goal-scorer when I got injured with four games to go, I could have overtaken Chris Katongo, who won the Golden Boot Award as I was behind him with three goals.
Unfortunately I do not have control of what happens in football, the injuries and so on. I still believe I have a lot to offer. Missing chances is part of football. We are playing in the final but we have only scored one goal. It is a concern and something we are all working hard to improve on at training. As for AmaZulu, nothing was said to me about their interest.
Given the style of football that the team has shown in the past three games, you could fit well in there. You have pace, talent, potential and skill, but yet you are warming the bench week in week out. Did the coach explain to you why he was not fielding you? Last question, what is your real name?
Kaizer Motaung: I am not playing because when we resumed this year I was injured and that has been discussed with the Coach. It should also be taken into consideration that the guys have been doing well and like any other player I have got to work hard at training and fight for my place in the team. The issue with me has been injury not being benched!
How many times you have been to Botswana and do you have family there?
Kaizer Motaung: I do have distant cousins there from my mother’s side but have not been there for a long time.
Can you accept an offer from a PSL team, if yes on what condition?
Kaizer Motaung: Everyone wants to play at the highest level and I want to win cups. I am fortunate that I have been here, with one of the biggest Clubs in the continent and the biggest in South Africa. If the team needs me, I would love to stay here as long as I play…I love the team. I would not play for any other team in the PSL…no, I do not see that happening.
When will you be back in action; how do you feel when you see your colleagues missing good scoring opportunities?
Kaizer Motaung: I am ready to play any time the Coach gives me a chance. Obviously I do feel bad for the player because all players go to the field to help their teams win games. The best place as a footballer is to be on the pitch playing and helping your team…at times when you are sitting at the stands or on the bench it is always difficult, as you always want to help the team.
This season you did not play well and it seems as if you were maybe trying too hard, hence you dropped your form, can you please tell me what happened to you this season because I know you can play much better than you did this season?
Kaizer Motaung: Like I said earlier, people have ups and downs and I know that people forget what you have done when things do not go your way. I am also aware that in football you are as good as your last game. I will continue giving my best at training and I will regain my form.
I know you probably get this question all the time but how does if feel to play for a team owned by your dad? How is the atmosphere like at home when the team has lost? Do you discuss what went wrong or do you just forget about it and move on?
Mogomotsi Ramonna, Gaberone
Kaizer Motaung: I am sure for some guys after the game they are able to put what happened on the field behind them and focus on other things, but for us at home football is life. We always discuss what went wrong on the field. It does hit the Chairman hard when we lose and it is only when you see his emotions how much this team means to him, what it is like to lose, because for us football is 24/7.
People have this perception that it is all nice when we get home but football is business. We are all employees at the Club and we are expected to deliver and the Chairman will have a go at everyone if we play badly as the Boss and that is normal. At home, the Chairman is my father and being a former player he does sit me down and talk about what happened on the field. He also watches training and will give me a feedback on how I trained. It does make it quite easy that he played football because what he says always makes sense.
I have bought myself a Kaizer Chiefs home jersey and I printed No. 7 MOTAUNG just to show my love and support for you and the team and you know how it is especially in Bloemfontein to be a Kaizer Chiefs supporter. How is it like to don the famous Gold and Black jersey?
Mojalefa M. G. Thipe
Kaizer Motaung: Thank you Moja for you support, it is really people like you who keep us going by giving us confidence. This is a very tough question, I do not know how to answer it…you see, I am fortunate to have donned this jersey, I feel blessed. It was my dream as a young boy to one day wear the Gold and Black. I do not think some of the players feel it until they leave the Club. This Club brings lots of joy to millions of people, so wearing this jersey also come with huge responsibility.
Do you honestly think you have an outside chance to make it the Bafana Bafana squad?
The Namibian journalist – Weekender
Kaizer Motaung: The squad should be chosen from those best on form. It would have been different for me if, for instance, I had played in February and got to score goals to help the team. The focus for me now is to ensure that we win the Telkom Knockout on Saturday against Ajax Cape Town and we do well in the Nedbank Cup. In football though anything is possible. If it was meant to be I will be on that team…if it happens it would be a great blessing to be on that team.
Do you sometimes discuss your weaknesses and strengths with your father, seeing that you are a left footer and your father was deadly with his left foot and very fast and mobile while controlling the ball with his left foot. You have the physique and speed of your father but you don’t seem to know how to use it to your advantage.
Kaizer Motaung: I am a right footer. The Chairman was of course a great footballer but based on what I have seen of him on videos he had skill, was very quick on the other side I see myself more as a striker, a goal poacher. Like I said before, he does take time to advise me on my game, my finishing and so on.
What car do you drive? Do you have any plans in store after football?
Kaizer Motaung: (Cuts in) Awu bana…Eish! How do I answer this (Laughing). I drive a reliable car that gets me from point A to point B!
As for the second question, yes, for sure. I am already preparing for life after football by studying. I think education is key for everyone.
Having seen our road to the final and the manner in which we have been missing most of the chances to score, what do you attribute this to?
Kaizer Motaung: I think guys have been playing very well and the most positive thing for me has been the fact we have not been conceding goals. The best teams that win the league concede the least number of goals and we need to carry on like this. As for missing chances, it happens, but again the positive thing is that we have been able to create chances. We continue to work very hard with the coaches at training to address the concern you have raised about missing chances.
Now that you are back in the squad, do you think you can compete with the likes of Knowledge Musona and Nkosinathi Nhleko?
Kaizer Motaung: The two guys have both done tremendously since joining us at the beginning of the season. Chippa is a big guy and has brought lots of experience, aggression and has scored vital goals for the team this season. Knowledge on the other side is young, has abundance of skill, the vision and always wants to score. I think the Management should be applauded for bringing such players to the team. I have had the honour of playing with goal poachers like Shoes Mosheou, Collins Mbesuma and others and I have still competed for my place and it is the same with the two guys you have mentioned.
Are you and Bamuza Sono getting along and who is your favourite player at Chiefs?
Kaizer Motaung: Just because our fathers own Clubs and were great footballers does not mean we have to know each other. Honestly the only time I see Bamuza is on the field of play when we play Cosmos.
Kaizer Chiefs has been blessed with great players and it is always unfair to single out any player but Doctor Khumalo has always been my favourite player. I loved to watch Doctor and even Jabu Pule (Mahlangu).
Its funny thinking about it now that when I started my A Levels at school the only African player’s poster I had on my wall was Jabu! He was exceptional!
Kaizerchiefs.com: Kaizer you have always told me that you like playing Ajax Cape Town and you should be looking forward to the final this weekend?
Kaizer Motaung: Oh yeah, I do not know what happens but I seem to get extra motivation before we play Ajax Cape Town, I am not sure if it has to do with the fact that I nearly joined them back in 2007. They are a quality side and play a good brand of football and I like teams that are willing to play. It is going to be tough but we are in the final to win it!
Kaizerchiefs.com, together with Kaizer Motaung Jr, thank you for sending questions, including words of encouragement. We hope you enjoy the final this coming weekend!