Soccer coach Shakes Mashaba recently lauded Itumeleng Khune as “one of the best goalkeepers in the world“. But like many‚ his journey to success did not come without any obstacles.
Itumeleng relived his humble beginnings‚ claiming that he didn’t think his life would turn out the way it did.
He revealed that “opportunities were limited” in his hometown in Ventersdorp‚ North West‚ and because of that‚ he never thought he would make it out of there.
“Growing up in Ventersdorp where opportunities were limited‚ I never thought I would get out of that bad situation‚” he said‚ before pointing out that soccer saved him from being “a gangster or a hobo“.
“If I was not playing soccer‚ I would have probably become a gangster or a hobo. At some point at home‚ we had to take a risk where we went for one month without groceries‚ because my dad had to buy me soccer boots.”
While he might be one of the most celebrated footballers in the country‚ Itumeleng still remembers his humble beginnings and the place which he comes from.
In 2014‚ he made a massive donation of R150 000 to an old age home in his hometown as well as R350 000 to Letshelemane Primary School.
He made the donations following his triumph at the South African Sports Awards‚ where he was crowned the country’s top sports star‚ pocketing a sum of R1 million‚ of which half went to charity.