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He is arguably one of the best creative midfielders to ever grace local football. From the day he shot into stardom while donning the maroon and white outfit of hub giants ,Manzini Wanderers, before his controversial transfer to Mbabane Swallows and then his short stint with SA’ s Jomo Cosmos,  one could tell that this youngster is one of the upcoming footballers this country would pride itself in the not-so-distant future.

Upon his return to local shores following his unsuccessful stint with ‘Ezenkosi’ , the lavishly talented midfielder proved his worth while doing duty for Mbabane Swallows in  the past few seasons.

That is none other than ABSA Premiership bound Banele ‘Pupu’ Sikhondze , the man some commentators describe as a ‘walking football brain box’.

At the age of 22 years he has proven his capabilities in terms of footballing prowess and it is not by design that the player who hails from Big bend in the Lubombo region will be in the books of ABSA Premiership side this coming season.

He might have not yet achieved anything big to warrant such praises, but there is no iota of doubt that this youngster has the potential of taking his football career to greater heights, and put this tiny Kingdom of Eswatini on the map. The onus now remains with him not to lose focus as he face the challenge of plying his trade in bigger leagues.

 He must take a leaf from other great legends of the game who went to play in the neighbouring South Africa and left a mark.
Absalom ‘Scara’ Thindwa, Abel ‘Chacklas’ Shongwe , William ‘Cool Cat’ Shongwe all form part of the local football legends who hoisted the country’s flag while doing duty for Soweto giants,  Kaizer Chiefs.

This is the kind of progress we expect from local players , hence we sincerely hope that Sikhondze will follow in the footsteps of these legends and others who played abroad.

With the national team Sihlangu seMnikati in a building process, players like Pupu will add value to the development of future national team players.

And of course, like a wine he will mature with age, and the signs are there for everyone to see.

Comfort Jele -Hawane

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