Born in Ga-Abel, a village in Bolobedu within the Limpopo province, during his playing days Tebogo Monyai played for the likes of Moroka Swallows, Mpumalanga Black Aces and the University of Pretoria (TUKS). A seasoned former player who now works as the Head of Scout at TUKS as well as the 1st Vice President of the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU). In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with The Village Mag, Tebogo tells us of how football and education changed his life, we delve in the politics of football and the work he does both for SAFPU and TUKS.

Former AmaTuks player Tebogo Monyai is back at the University of Pretoria as the Head of Scout Image:

After matriculating in 1997 he enrolled with Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) to study a Diploma in Marketing and Business Management. Upon completion of his Diploma he was offered a scholarship by the University of Pretoria to further his studies in Marketing and Business Management; furthermore, enrolled for a degree in Sports Law while playing for TUKS. He is currently studying an Executive Course in Sports Management offered by FIFA at Nelson Mandela University, which is one of the only two universities in Africa that offers this course.

Asked where he enjoyed his football career the most, Tebogo remarked “I enjoyed playing at the University of Pretoria because it is a club that knew me better, the relationship was good, I knew their history and there was no pressure. It is a club that allowed me to do whatever I wanted to do except football”.

A footballer’s lifespan is very short (5-10 years at most) and in order to maintain it, one must eat healthy, train well all the time and also most footballer’s don’t make plans for life after football hence they retire poor. It is because of that, that Tebogo saw it necessary to think ahead and make plans for life after football, hence he retired at the age of 36 in order to give opportunities to younger players and coincidentally paved way for the likes of the South African International Bongani Khumalo who was “brought up” and shaped at the University of Pretoria (amaTUKS) to become a decorated soccer player he is today.

With his current position at TUKS being the Head of Scouting, he particularly deals with scouting of players in the GladAfrica Championship, varsity team players, academy players and any other player who comes within the TUKS programs except the club development level. As the Vice President of SAFPU he sources strategical partnerships with different organizations that will help SAFPU to be able to bring programs that can help footballers with their wellbeing, education, life beyond football and contractual disputes. The South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) is a registered trade union which represents professional football players. Formed in 1997 and headquartered in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The union represents over 200 professionally registered soccer players in South Africa.

According to SAFPU statistics to date in South Africa there are 3 200 000 registered soccer players which includes ladies football and the Local Football Association (LFA). “In the PSL and the National Football Division (NFD) we have employed players 1 350 within the 198 foreign players in the PSL, in a country with a population of over 50 million” remarked Tebogo.

Tebogo Monyai the 1st vice president of SAFPU with the Dr. Danny Jordaan the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Image:

According to him, the Premier Soccer League is giving little but not enough support to promote the livelihood of professional footballers i.e. education to prepare them on life beyond soccer.  SAFPU formed a bursary scheme for PSL footballers to enroll at any institution of higher learning of their choice. The union suggested that PSL should inject some funds in the education programs of professional footballers so that they can be secured in their life after football. Politics are there in every organization and sports – soccer in particular – is no exception. In November 2020, the PSL announced a whooping record revenue generation which surpassed the 1 billion rands for the 2018/2019 season, with that in mind one would expect that more money is invested in the development of South African football. Mr Monyai exclusively revealed to The Village Mag that in the previous MultiChoice-PSL five year deal worth R2.5 billion, the seven PSL Executive Committee (EXCO) shared R67 million amongst themselves without donating anything to SAFPU.

Amongst other things Tebogo Monyai is the 1st Vice President of SAFPU Image: SAFPU Website

In conclusion the outspoken SAFPU 1st vice president pleaded with current and former professional players to really invest in learning about alternative careers within the beautiful game. He cited one Mr Mpho Maropeng who is a former professional player who took advantage of the SAFPU programs, upon advices from the union retired and studied to become the first former professional player to work as a video analyst. A lot was discussed including the recently announced partnership between Mamelodi Sundowns and the University of Pretoria Football Club (Tuks Sports Football).

Click on the audio link below to listen to the full interview with Tebogo Monyai to also find out about politics in football.

Alternative careers in sports with Tebogo Monyai


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