South Africa: Teko Modise, Mzansi’s most loved

By Peter Tabu

It’s mid-December 2010 and Teko Modise is fade up with his club Orlando Pirates, despite being a gem at the time in South African football.

His relationship with Pirates boss Irvin Khoza had been severed and he had one final meeting before his contract with the sea robbers was terminated.

Having received a memo from his manager about a suit as the dress code, Teko showed up for the meeting casually dressed which angered Khoza.

“You have very bad manners. I will only release you on one condition, if you don’t join Kaizer Chiefs,” an angry Khoza said before storming out of the meeting room.

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Cape Town City midfielder Teko Modise will be returning from active playing at the end of the 2018/2019 Premier Soccer League season that comes to an end today / Courtesy Photo

These are excerpts from the Curse of Teko Modise, a book serializing the midfielder’s life which was released in 2018.

Teko Tsholofelo Modise was born 36 years ago and regarded as one of the poster boys of South African football of recent times, he started out at lower Division sides Ria Stars and City Pillers.

But it’s his time at the latter that he stood out winning the player of the season which earned him a move to the top flight with Supersport United in 2006.

A season later, Teko signed for giants Orlando Pirates, initially on a two-year deal, he went on to spend six years with the Sea Robbers. In that period several incidents Modise talks about in his book indicate it wasn’t the best of times.

Being top of his game at the time, Teko felt he wasn’t appreciated enough at Pirates which led to a downward spiral.

Incidents like Teko buying an Aston Martin DB9 where he paid up to R22000 approximately UGX5M in monthly car loans and a misunderstanding with Pitso Mosimane stood out.

“After the World Cup, I felt I hadn’t performed well so I wanted something pleasing and one day I saw an ad on the internet about the car. I didn’t think twice but after I bought it, I realized it was a mistake.”

Teko Modise also featured for Orlando Pirates at peak of his powers / Courtesy Photo

“Pirates also refused me to drive to training with it because at the time it seemed like the chairman had increased my pay and ignored other players which caused a rift which wasn’t true,” Teko said.

After the Pirates nightmare, Modise’s move to Sundowns seemed like it was for the better. It looked so because he won every silverware there is in South African football.

But it’s when he went on a collision course with outspoken Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane that his good times went up in the smoke.

“The last two years at Sundowns were bad, I remember we would be in camp and we would meet with Pitso and he would walk away.”

“Fellow players actually asked if I and Pitso were dating the same chick but I played it professionally, but that was not all.”

Teko Modise won a number of accolades while playing at Mamelodi Sundowns with Dennis Onyango / Courtesy Image

“In 2014 when the three coaches called me and said I need to play less for the team to shine, I was dumbfounded, I still don’t understand it till today” Modise reveals in his book.

Modise’s time at Sundowns is definitely his best and after he left, many thought he was going to retire but no.

The Navigator had one up his sleeves, signing for rebranded Cape Town City which had brought in former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy as head coach.

His season started off badly when Cape Town City lost to Supersport United in the final of the MTN8 but that would change when the team won it the next season.

The Citizens have revealed a new role for Modise which hasn’t been confirmed will be announced soon. The legend will forever be celebrated.

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