Mfundo Vilakazi: Kaizer Chiefs Youngster Opens Up on Nightmares He Faced Before Making It Big

Mfundo Vilakazi: Kaizer Chiefs Youngster Opens Up on Nightmares He Faced Before Making It Big

Byron Pillay
April 1, 2024 at 8:48 AM
In this article:
South Africa Premier Soccer League logo
ZA Premier League
South Africa
Kaizer Chiefs logo
Kaizer Chiefs
South Africa
Bidvest Wits logo
Bidvest Wits
South Africa
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila logo
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila
South Africa
  • Mfundo Vilakazi is one of the most talked about teenagers in the country at the moment
  • Obrigado turned heads for his performances in the Philly's Games with Doornkop Students
  • Kaizer Chiefs signed Vilakazi to their Diski Challenge side before promoting him to the first team

Youngsters in Europe earn high acclaim for their footballing skills, but what of South Africa’s talent?

Back home, Mfundo ‘Obrigado’ Vilakazi is turning heads for his impressive rise up the ranks, and while he’s not making headlines like another youngster, Jude Bellingham, he is proof that there are local teenagers who can make a difference if they are given a chance.

Mfundo Vilakazi's rode to the top wasn't easy, but it shaped him into the player he is.
Mfundo Vilakazi opened up on the struggles he faced to get to where he is now with Kaizer Chiefs. Image: @Soccer_Laduma.
Source: Twitter

While his rise to the top has certainly caught the eye, it hasn’t always been easy.

As noted by News24, Obrigado recently opened up on the rough road to get where he is now, describing how it was a nightmare at one stage.

Vilakazi’s dreams became a nightmare

The 18-year-old recalled how, in 2020, he joined the Bidvest Wits youth team.

Hailed as one of the best development structures in the country, it was a move which promised big things.

Three weeks into the journey, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and football was one of the many casualties of the lockdown. When it eventually returned in August of that year, Wits had already been sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, and Obrigado’s dreams took a detour.

“I was hurt because that opportunity came when I was young. To be playing for Wits at that age, I thought to myself that things were finally looking up for me, and I could eventually get into a position where I take care of my family financially,” he said.

Vilakazi attracts attention from Kaizer Chiefs

After the sale of Wits, Obrigado went back to playing Kasi football, and it was through this that he attracted the attention of Kaizer Chiefs.

The youngster competed at the Philly's Games in 2021 and 2022 and immediately impressed people with his performances.

It wasn’t long before Amakhosi came calling and after more standout performances, he was signed to their DStv Diski Challenge squad.

After impressing for the side, Vilakazi was promoted to the senior squad in January this year and is the most talked about youngster in the country.

Even Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson has heaped praise on the youngster, commenting on his recent debut for the first team, iDiski Times reported.

“I thought Mfundo came and did quite well, for a young player to come on. I put him on a real pressure game, I think he did well.
“I don’t think he lost the ball, so he’s got a bright future with Kaizer Chiefs,” Johnson said.

Vilakazi shows off new ride

Sports Brief previously reported how Obrigado appeared to be showing off his new ride after the Carling Knockout All-Star exhibition match.

The youngster made headlines in the game, scoring one goal as he helped his side lift the Carling Cup at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

In the week that followed, the then 17-year-old was spotted parading a new Volkswagen GTI around his neighbourhood along with his All-Star medal.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
South AfricaDStv PremiershipDSTV Diski