My Ten: 10 things you didn’t know about William Twala

  • William was given the nickname ‘Tsiki-Tsiki’ by his teammates when he was about 12-years-old. He was named after Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder Thabo Mooki, because they had a similar style of play.
  • His parents were not well off and it inspired him to change that and make a success of his own life. “I wanted to succeed from a young age,” Twala comments. 
  • William grew up in Diepkloof, playing for City Rebels. Teko Modise was at the same club. However, they didn’t play together because Teko was Twala’s senior. 
  • It was William’s late mother Vangile, who took him at the age of 11 to a trial at Wits University. He passed the trials, as a striker. Soon thereafter, however, the coaches Dave du Preez and Johan van Tonder moved him to the midfield. 
  • While growing up, William loved to watch the brilliant midfielder Ká That’s when the Brazilian played for Italy’s AC Milan. He even tried to model his game on the midfield genius. “Káka was very direct and explosive,” he points out. “I wanted to copy that into my own game.”
  • When the Chiefs winger got injured early this season, he dyed his hair blond. “When injured you get a bit into a dark space,” he explains. “To colour my hair blond brought light and brought me closer to healing.”
  • William’s father Sizwe is a big Orlando Pirates supporter, although he has stressed to support his son before his team. On the other hand, the father likes to joke before a Derby: “May football win, but in my favour.” 
  • An interesting hobby of William is landscapes. He enjoys going on a road trip and see a beautiful place. For example, watching a nice green hill or a river moving through a valley. The most magnificent view he ever saw was between Port Elizabeth and Mthatha.
  • He loves reading books. His favourite is The Battlefield of the Mind, written by Joyce Meyer. It’s about improving, getting better, day by day. He’s presently reading The Secrets (from Rhonda Byrne). It’s an inspirational book that encourages you to be positive and optimistic. It tells about the mystery of the hidden potential within us all.
  • He likes to sleep in on the morning of the game. However, from about two hours before kick-off, he tries to think about things that make him happy to get into the right frame of mind before the game. He also visualises his actions on the field, so that it will become a kind of ‘automatism’ when the match starts.