The Mbulelo Mabizela story is like one of those from grass to grace, then back to grass fairy tales. He is a talented South African footballer, who formerly played as a midfielder and sometimes as a defender. Mabizela was so good that in August 2003, he was signed by the English Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur.
Mbulelo Mabizela is a famous South African defender and midfielder. He was considered a wonder kid early in his career, and anyone could tell that he was destined to make a global footprint in football. Joining Tottenham Hotspurs in August 2003 raised his hopes of rising even higher to play for the legendary Barcelona FC. However, this dream hurtled into an abyss of obscurity as he struggled with alcohol abuse, among other issues of corporate discipline.
Mbulelo Mabizela profile
- Birth name: Mbulelo Oldjohn Mabizela
- Date of birth: September 16th, 1980 (age 39)
- Place of birth: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
- Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
- Playing position(s): Center-back, right-back, defensive midfield
How old is Mbulelo Mabizela?
He was born on September 16th, 1980. Therefore, Mbulelo Mabizela age is 39 years now.
Mbulelo Mabizela family
Mbulelo’s nickname is Oldjohn or OJ. This is his mother's name, which became his nickname. He has two brothers, Nkululeko and S’bongiseni. His father, Dumisani Mabizela, was also a professional player, who went by the name Guarantee during his heyday.
The former star and his two brothers grew up in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in the old John Mabizela house. His parents got divorced. However, when Mbulelo’s star started shining as a professional soccer player, he would occasionally visit his father at his Ladysmith home for some mentorship and guidance.
Which teams did he play for?
Mbulelo Mabizela made his debut to the South African national team on November 10th, 2001, when his team played against Egypt. At age 21, he became his country's youngest-ever football captain when his team played against Trinidad and Tobago on June 14th, 2003. By October 2005, he had played over 40 games for his country and scored two goals.
- During 2000-2001, he played for Maritzburg City. He made 37 appearances and scored six goals.
- From Maritzburg City, he moved to Orlando Pirates from 2001-2003. He made 51 appearances and scored four goals.
- Mbulelo Mabizela joined Tottenham Hotspur from 2003-2005 and made seven appearances with only one goal.
- During the 2005-2006 period, he played for Varenga and made six appearances with no goal.
- From Valerenga, he moved to Mamelodi Sundowns. For about two years, he made 16 appearances but scored no goal.
- Platinum stars signed him on a contract from 2009 to 2011. He made 34 appearances but scored no goal.
- For about a year, during 2011 and 2012, he played for Bidvest Wits, where he made 28 appearances and scored two goals.
- He had a brief stint at Chippa United in 2013. Here, he made ten appearances and scored one goal.
- From 2013 to 2014, he played for Mpumalanga Black Aces, making 14 appearances and scoring one goal.
- In 2015, he made 12 appearances scoring four gaols at Amazulu. Still, in 2015 he played for the Royal Eagles.
- Equally important are Mabizela’s services to the country’s national team. From 2001 to 2008, he made a total of 45 appearances, scoring two goals.
How much was he earning?
In the match against Sporting Lisbon, the seasoned defender won the hearts of many fans. His calmness on handling the ball, coupled with superb distribution skills, left many people convinced that it was not a matter of if, but when Tottenham Hotspur would sign him for at least £1 million.
In August 2003, after acquiring his work permit on appeal, the club did exactly that and officially signed him as one of their players. It was estimated that Mbulelo Mabizela salary would earn him a minimum of R2.8 million in his first season with Spurs.
Judging from the fancy Mbulelo Mabizela cars and the glamorous Mbulelo Mabizela house that he owned while playing abroad, it is apparent that the soccer star was doing very well.
Is Mbulelo Mabizela broke now?
In an interview with SABC NEWS, two years ago, the former Bafana Bafana captain confessed that were it not for his abusive use of alcohol and drugs, he would be playing for Barcelona. An HIV/AIDS counsellor, the retired mid-fielder, today spends a great deal of his time advising young people on avoiding the problems with alcohol and drug abuse. The former star no longer leads the flashy lifestyle that he was used to.
"The main stumbling block facing us as players is alcohol and drug abuse. We are at war with alcohol and drugs, and we cannot run away from that," he was quoted saying.
The former star's bankruptcy is a real concern among his fan base. In the interview, he admitted that alcohol affected him and put his family into so many problems. "Athletes must learn to spend, save and invest their money wisely," he advised.
Although the real Mbulelo Mabizela net worth is not known, the former Spurs star may not be doing well financially. He regrets having squandered the several opportunities that he had in Europe because of his wayward actions.
Mbulelo Mabizela latest news
Mbulelo Mabizela latest news has not been quite inspiring. Mid last year, the South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed that a case of rape was under investigation after a victim was allegedly raped by a suspect known to her at Machibisa, an area located in Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal.
Mbulelo Mabizela featured on the list of suspects and ended up in Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court. However, he was released on an R1,000 bail.
He now wants to tell the story of his troubled soccer career in a tell-all autobiography. The former Bafana Bafana skipper says,
Nobody knows why all the teams that I played for ended up firing me, I'm going to give my full story in the book. It has to empower everyone. It should be a must-read to aspiring footballers, who should never repeat my mistakes.
What is more, Mbulelo Mabizela today also plans to release a TV documentary where he will talk about his life in detail.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported on Friday, August 2020, that Namibian international Deon Hotto is ready to join the Orlando Pirates next season. According to a reliable source, Hotto will earn a staggering R500,000 per month, which is a handsome hike from R200,000 per month
The lofty salary increment has left fans divided. Some are happy for him, while others have voiced doubt whether the player deserves such a high amount.