- Bibo faced a hard lesson when he was caught using drugs and faced a 2 year ban
- His ban lead him into depression which almost led him to suicide, but he found strength in his son
- The soccer star is now using his experience to help others and educate the youth on the consequences of drug abuse
It is always with great sorrow that we hear of someone that possible died due to suicide. Orlando Pirates former midfielder entered into the search box of his computer, painless suicide, just months after he was banned for drug use.
After the ban he lost almost everything which included friends, money, respect and ofcourse the game.
Thandani “Bibo” Ntshumayelo was tested in 2016 in a random drug test. Traces of cocaine were found in his system and a four year banned was imposed on him. This led Thandani into a state of depression, even though after his appeal the ban was reduced to two years.
Briefly.co.za learnt that at that time, the 27-year-old midfielder said people he thought were his friends had all disappeared. He was alone and so despondent that he would never play again.
This unfortunate incident happened shortly after he had returned from training with Bidvest Wits.
It was said that Thandani trained with Wits in the hope of been signed up. He did his training at Braamfontein and had moved from Supersport United to Orlando Pirates. It was also stated that Thandani was someone who was equipped to make things right.
In the two year period of his ban, Thandani did stated that he spent most of his time looking back at the mistake he had made and regretting every moment. The wrong decisions he had made really hit him hard and the thought of suicide did enter his mind.
Thandani said that when playing for a team like Pirates, everybody wants to be your friend. The only problem with this is that you are never sure who is on your side or not. He admits to been introduced to cocaine and the fact that he did use it, and this he will always regret.
That fact that Thandani was a provider for people back home, was devastating for him in the circumstances he found himself to now be asking for money. It was extremely hard to face that fact and he says he did contemplate suicide and just wanted to it all to go away.
At the time that Thandani was searching for painless was to end his life, his father became aware of the fact that his son was not in a good place. He then took Thandani for counselling through a pastor of a church.
His dad also suggested that he keep his mind occupied and to study law so he had something should things not work out with his sport.
Thandani gave it some thought but was not in the frame of mind to take on something like that. It was then that they decided to go ahead and appeal the ban.
While Thandani was going through all of this, his son was born. This precious gift gave him the inspiration he needed to carry on.
It was Thandani wish to be able to play and for his son to be there at his games watching. His parents and girlfriend were with Thandani all the way never leaving his side.
The goal was to impress the coach from Wits, Gavin Hunt. Should this happened he would have another chance.
The ban was reduced to two years in September, which meant he was entitled to return and play, provided there was someone out there that would sign him on.
Speaking about Coach Gavin, Thandani said that the coach knows him very well and is familiar with his ability of a midfielder.
Hunt did not make any promises only that he would be there to assist Thandani in regaining his fitness levels and comment that everyone deserves a chance.
Thandani was prepared and geared up to start afresh. He said that he would be honoured should Wits sign him up. He knew exactly what the coach expected from a player.
Hunt has been cagey about Bibo’s prospects, other than to say that he would help the midfielder to regain his fitness and that “everybody deserves a chance in life”.
It was Hunt that gave Thandani his first professional debut when he promoted him from Supersport’s academy to the senior team.
It was a major learning curve for Thandani and he decided to take what he had learnt and share the dangers that come with substance abuse. He held motivational talks to another aspiring sports men and women. He was in search of others that would join him.
Thandani said there were those that were prepared to come on board but he felt they did not share his passion. He was not in it for the money but he wanted to make a difference.
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