The EL Capitan, Jimmy Tau had probably his best season in the Gold and Black jersey having started this past season with an injury. Currently enjoying preseason at his home, Kimberly, “Lion King” as Jimmy is affectionately known took time to talk to kaizerchiefs.com
about his love for studies, on how the Chairman has inspired him and his ambitions for the future.
Will you be attending any games during the World Cup and besides Bafana Bafana who will be your favourite team?
Jimmy Tau: I will of course attend a couple of games including Bafana Bafana games. I cannot miss an opportunity to watch the first World Cup to be staged on our home soil. I have two teams that I will be watching besides Bafana Bafana and they are Brazil and Spain.
I had an opportunity to watch Brazil vs. Zimbabwe on Wednesday and you can see their technical and tactical ability. The Brazilians always stick to the basics of the game. I, of course, had a particular interest on the right backs, Dani Alves and Maicon…It is a pity the coach needs to choose one between the best two right backs in the world.
How was your first day at Naturena?
Jimmy Tau: I have vivid memories of my first day at the Village. Football Manager, Bobby (Motaung) called me to come through and I told him that I would be there in about five minutes. For some strange reason I got lost as I missed the Golden Highway off ramp…(laughing).
On my arrival, Bobby teased me, “you see you are even getting lost because you are now joining a big Club”. On my arrival I remember everyone from the Executive Chairman (Kaizer Motaung), the players all waiting for me to arrive. It was a special day and from that moment I have felt at home at the Village.
How was your feeling when you joined Kaizer Chiefs from Orlando Pirates considering the rivalry between the two clubs?
Jimmy Tau: (Laughing) I felt honoured to have been given an opportunity to join a team that I had supported from childhood. It was a dream come true for me. I am privileged to be part of this brand…the feeling really of being here is something I cannot really put it into words.
I just want to know if you are married?
Jimmy Tau: (Jumping in) No, I am not married! I still have couple of things that I want to achieve. I was actually planning to get married to my mother but unfortunately she passed on.
How far do you think Bafana Bafana will go in the upcoming tournament?
Jimmy Tau: It is difficult to say because of the group that we are in…but as a patriotic South African I wish that we go as far as possible. It would be great if we can qualify for KO stages and that will be a remarkable achievement for the country.
Could you please explain what happened in that game against Pretoria University during 2008/2009 season in the Nedbank Cup?
Jimmy Tau: (Taking a pause) this is a chapter that I have closed in my life. I learnt a lot from that experience and have now moved on.
As a captain how do you ensure that other players don’t just focus on football careers, but their studies as well like you have been doing?
Jimmy Tau: I talk to the guys a lot on a regular basis about the importance of education. I am happy that guys like Punch (Masenamela), Abia (Nale), Mandla have gone back to school. Guys like Spanner (Lawrence Molekwane), Lucky Khune including Itumeleng (Khune) and other guys are looking at registering in the near future.
I am happy that the guys have seen a bigger picture on the importance of education. This is what my late parents drummed into me. Education opens doors for you and it takes away ignorance about other happenings in the society. I am sure my parents are proud of me as I am currently finishing my Honours in Marketing and I am planning to study further if the opportunity avails itself. I am grateful to the Coach (Vladimir Vermezovic) for being understanding as I wrote my exams without any hindrances.
I have a soccer team (Bianca Academy) in Lichtenberg and I am from Kimberly maybe you know me, Kgotso Manjinja who played for Tiger Chiefs. The guys have been longing that I invite you to the team…
Jimmy Tau: Kgotso, I am currently at home and you know my place so you are welcome to come through in the next couple of days. This is very important for the Club, giving back to the community but for me it is from the heart as well. I grew up in Kimberly and I know what is it like to grow up here as a youngster who wants to make it big in football. I will be willing to help wherever I can. The community of Kimberly has supported me a lot throughout my career and it goes without saying that I owe it to them to give back to the community.
How do you feel that you were not included in the national team seeing that you have come of age with your football lately?
Jimmy Tau: I was disappointed but it is something that I have made peace with. God has a purpose for me and for those who were chosen - it was God’s plan. In life you need to accept things because some are not made for you and God might be having other plans.
What has football done for you? Do you have any siblings?
Jimmy Tau: Football has changed my life! It has made me a person in a nation. I am a role model to the youth and it has opened my eyes to corporate and other ventures in my life.
I owe all of this to football and I do not think without football it would have been possible for me to play this role in the society. I am forever grateful to God for the talent and guiding me to use it productively.
I do have a sister, Thuliswa who is 15 turning 16 later this year. She is my only sibling following the untimely passing of my mother last year. Thuli is everything to me now.
Which player in the PSL do you fear most; I hope Phenyo Mongala comes to your head…name the other one?
Jimmy Tau: (laughing) I do not fear Mongala! It just happened that on that day things worked to his way. With all due respect to my fellow professionals I do not fear any player in the league!
How does it feel to have been a captain for the two Soweto giants?
Jimmy Tau: It is an honour really and something that I am proud of. I think it is a demonstration of my leadership skills…once again I want to thank God for such an honour and talent.
What are your goals for next season and what do you think of your chances of getting back to the national team next season?
Jimmy Tau: I think I would like to carry on where I left off last season. In my opinion, 2009/2010 season was the best season for me since joining the Club back in 2005. I played my best football last season and also the way I played in my previous club. I will continue working hard next season. The priority as the team is the league, and of course we will be looking at challenging all the other trophies on offer.
I do not know really about Bafana Bafana. I will continue giving my best at Chiefs and repay the Club the investment they have put in me since my arrival. If the opportunity comes to represent my country I will give it my best, and if not I will focus on my Club career.
Kaizerchiefs.com together with EL Capitan, Jimmy Tau would like to thank you for words of encouragement and questions. “Please blow the Vuvuzela for Bafana Bafana during the World Cup and let’s make this the best World Cup ever”