Five South African footballers who dived into the music industry

Five South African footballers who dived into the music industry

Five South African footballers who dived into the music industry

South Africa is blessed with elite footballers. From Steven Pienaar, who set the Premier League alight, to Benni McCarthy, South Africa has always boasted a handsome catalog of world-class players. These players have decided the world’s biggest games featured on elite bookmaker apps like Hollywoodbets (expertly examined on

But here is an interesting twist. While some of these footballers exclusively excelled in football, there is a slowly increasing breed who further went on to unleash their creativity in the music industry.

This article will discuss South African footballers who later went into singing.


Admittedly, this is a name that rings a loud bell. Of course, Focalistic may not be your traditional footballer. But before his musical conquests, the Amapiano star was fanatic about football.

One of South Africa’s biggest rappers, Focalistic, had once spoken about his ambition for football before having music steal his heart.

Lethabo Sebetso, who goes by his stage name, Focalistic, was once a young passionate football player who was playing in one of South Africa’s biggest clubs, Kaizer Chiefs.

Focalistic was nicknamed Pitoti Maradona because of how good he was with the ball and how much passion he put into playing football.

He played as a striker for the club whilst starring in the number 10 jersey. But In grade 8, Focalistic was stuck between the love for football and the love for music.

Even though he had the chance to play at the national level should he proceed with his career at Kaizer Chiefs, he chose music.

Well, it turns out to be a pretty cool choice.

Focalistic came into the limelight in 2020 and has won and been nominated for many awards.

Since his debut album, Focalistic has established himself as one of the fast-rising South African singers with a blossoming international repute.

Thabisco Skapie Malatsi

Thabisco Skapie Malatsi was known to be one of the most intelligent attacking midfielder players at Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs, two well-known football clubs in South Africa.

Unfortunately, Skapie’s career was tainted with alcohol and hard drugs, and later disappeared from the football pitch.

Next, Skapie was seen pursuing a music career and working with friends to produce music tracks like Mthando and Yizo, which were aired on local radio stations.

He also worked on pushing out his Gqom sounds sometime in 2018. Now, it appears to be that Thabisco Skapie Malatsi has put his music career on hold as he was announced as the new coach for the Talitha Soccer Academy.

Darius Dhlomo

Darius Dhlomo was one unique South African player who juggled a range of talents simultaneously. He was a boxer, footballer, and musician almost at once.

Darius Dhlomo had a boxing career rolling up for him successfully in South Africa even while he was playing in the Natal national football team and the Baumannville City Blacks football team.

Also, Darius Dhlomo happened to be great at holding up music whilst in a jazz group and taking up a role as an activist for the African National Congress.

After his football career ended in the early 1990s, Darius Dhlomo went on to become a social worker, teacher, and the Labour Party’s municipal councilor.

He finally relocated back to South Africa in 1992 and picked up his musical career as a live Jazz musician until he died in June 2015.

Doctor “16 Valve” Khumalo

Doctor Khumalo started his youth career as a footballer in Moroka Swallows and worked his way up to Kaizer Chiefs. He was later given out on loan to Columbus Crew, where he finished his professional football career in the year 1997.

Doctor “16 Valve” Khumalo also dived into music, collaborating with Wendy Mseleku and the radio personality Bob Mabena.

After the launch of the album, Get Funky, we heard little from him. However, he didn’t rise to prominence like some other musicians in the country.

Jabu Pule Mahlangu

During his playtime as a footballer, Jabu Puale Mahlangu has a reputation for unpredictability. He started his career playing for one of South Africa’s biggest clubs, Kaizer Chiefs, and later spring-boarded into European clubs.

However, his improper conduct during his playtime made him switch between clubs on short notice, as he got into the habit of being kicked out relatively early.

In 2014, Jabu Pule Mahlangu ended his football career while at a South African football club, Superport United, and later turned to face the music.

Although Jabu Pule Mahlangu had a thing or two with music production sometime in 2007 when playing for the popular South African football club, Orlando Pirates.

He has been pushing out his sounds, cementing “Shuffle” as his stage name.

After his retirement in 2014, Jabu Pule Mahlangu dived back into music and is tied up with it till now. However, he isn’t one of the most raved names in the South African music industry.

Just like everyone, some footballers are also packed with other talents and creative skills, and music happens to be one of them.

Diversity is the spice of life, and it feels good to see footballers veering from their known path to try out other new ventures.

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