An Interview with Wandile Sicholo

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This month, we are sharing Wandile's story with our Ubuntu Teammates. Wandile joined Ubuntu Football in 2011, and now he is one of our young professionals playing for Ubuntu Cape Town FC. On top of his football success, we are just as excited about the growth we have seen in Wandile as a leader, a student, and a society changer. He is studying and working towards a degree in Sports Management from ETA college in Cape Town, as well as playing professional football. 

I would call my mom sometimes, asking to come home, but she would always say, ‘No you need to stay there to learn, adapt, try new things. You can’t stay here forever.’ She was very persistent and supportive, and as time went on, I got more comfortable.
— What was it like when you first joined Ubuntu?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome was living without my dad for a long time… he came to Cape Town when we moved from the Eastern Cape, but he never lived with us in the house. It was tough sometimes when I needed transport to games or training, and no one could take me. Sometimes he was there, and sometimes he wasn’t. That’s the biggest challenge I’ve overcome, growing up learning a lot of stuff on my own.
— What's the biggest challenge you have overcome?
Completing matric was a tough year. Lots of challenges because that’s also the time you really want to focus on your football. You want to show people you really want to play, but you also have to really focus on school because it’s your final year, and there’s a lot of work, and there’s pressure to do well. Accomplishing matric was big because I also finished with a B… I really put work in my school and in my football.
— What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I still want to stay in the field. I would like to be a coach or an agent, to help and motivate someone else, help them in the same kind of thing – guide them and protect them from other agents and coaches that only care about their talent. Don’t chase money over passion.
— After professional football, what is your dream job?
At Ubuntu they teach you it’s more about character. There is more than just the football, and it teaches you a lot about the person you’re becoming. It changes your mindset and how you think about things.
— What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Right now is probably the hardest challenge of my football career. I’m not getting much playing time, but I’m training a lot and really working hard, but I can’t see the progress because I’m not playing as much.
— What has been the biggest challenge of your football career?
Be willing to learn… throughout the years with Ubuntu you will have to show you want to be there. Ubuntu has lost some great players because they didn’t want to learn. If you’re not going to learn, there is no point in being here. You have to be willing to learn.
— What advice would you give to a boy who just joined Ubuntu?
Before last year I didn’t really want to further my studies. After I finished Matric I just wanted to play football, but then I realized because of Ubuntu that this could happen, tomorrow I could break my leg and then what?
— What made you decide to pursue a degree in Sports Management?

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