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Wiseman Meyiwa’s quiet role in Siyabonga Ngezana’s remarkable turnaround

High-flying Bafana Bafana defender Siyabonga Ngezana has revealed the quiet role his former Kaizer Chiefs teammate Wiseman Meyiwa played in his remarkable turnaround.

Ngezana, now a league champion in Romania with FSCB and a recent addition to the South African national team, faced a dark period in his career marked by costly errors that put his confidence and future in jeopardy.

At his lowest point, a phone call from Meyiwa, whose promising career was tragically cut short, proved to be a turning point. The two players had forged a special bond during their time together at the Amakhosi academy.

Meyiwa, a talented midfielder, saw his dreams of professional football shattered after a devastating accident left him wheelchair-bound. Despite this setback, Meyiwa remained deeply connected to the game and maintained a close relationship with Ngezana.


Siyabonga Ngezana, now 26, reflects on the intense pressure after his costly errors while playing in the DStv Premiership. Ngezana’s errors directly led to Mamelodi Sundowns’ first two goals in Kaizer Chiefs’ record 4-0 defeat, a devastating blow early in Arthur Zwane’s tenure as head coach.

Siyabonga Ngezana during a Bafana Bafana game
Siyabonga Ngezana/Bafana Bafana

First, a failed clearance inside the box allowed Gaston Sirino to capitalise in the 6th minute. Just minutes later, Ngezana conceded a penalty with a foul on Peter Shalulile, compounding the early deficit.

At that point of his career, Meyiwa reached out with a message of unwavering support and belief. He reminded Ngezana of his talent, his potential and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. The phone call served as a lifeline for Ngezana, who drew strength from Meyiwa’s words and unwavering faith in his abilities.

“My first debut with [Mamelodi] Sundowns, I scored, and I was the best player in the world. If you could read the comments [you’d see that]. [Then] I had a bad game and had so many critics,” he said on MSW.

“I switched off my phone after that game; I talked to some important people in my life. I switched off my phone and switched on the TV and watched Sergio Ramos and [Virgil] Van Dijk, and when I look at them, I’ve seen them make mistakes. In Europe, Ramos and Marquinhos [PSG] also made mistakes.

“I [later] got a call from one of my friends, Wiseman Meyiwa. He said, ‘bro, chin up, check Marquinhos’ [the mistake he made in the Champions League], and I took that as motivation…”

Meyiwa’s message offered reassurance, reminding Ngezana that even world-class defenders make critical mistakes that cost their teams dearly. He emphasised that Ngezana was not alone in experiencing such setbacks.

Siyabonga Ngezana and Wiseman Meyiwa
Siyabonga Ngezana and Wiseman Meyiwa


“It changed my mentality. If you can recall my last games at Chiefs, I started scoring and winning man of the match. That’s where I got my mentality to be strong,” he added.

Inspired by Meyiwa’s encouragement, Ngezana embarked on a journey of self-reflection and hard work. He dedicated himself to improving his game, both mentally and physically.

With each passing game, Ngezana’s performances steadily improved. He rediscovered his form, his composure, and his passion for the sport. His remarkable turnaround culminated in a move to FSCB in Romania, where he won the league and was named to the Team of the Season.

His stellar performances also earned him a call-up to the South African national team, where he has already made his mark in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Ngezana started the match against Nigeria in Uyo [1-1 draw] and Zimbabwe [3-1 win] in Bloemfontein.

RELATED STORY: Ngezana eyes UEFA Champions League despite uncertain future at FCSB

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