Sundowns captain Kekana’s tale of a backpack and gold medals

Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns took his medal during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards at Dobsonville Stadium, Johannesburg, on 05 September 2020 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

After lifting three trophies this season, it took some unpacking for Hlompho Kekana to do before sitting down and reflecting on yet another trophy-laden season at Mamelodi Sundowns.

Kekana led Masandawana to a maiden domestic treble made up of the Telkom Knockout Cup, Nedbank Cup and the league title this season.

READ: Mosimane brewing a ‘more effective’ Sundowns at Chloorkop

When Downs finally left the bio-bubble, the first thing that Kekena did when he got home was to unpack his bags, particularly the one which carried the two medals he won in the bio-bubble. That is when he sat back and had a moment to reflect on his achievements in his illustrious career.

“You know when you are proud of your work and the effort that you have put in. That was the feeling that I got when I got home and looked at the medals,” said Kekana.

“I kept them in my backpack and when I unpacked my things I saw them and said ‘these are things that I went out for two months for’. It was nice to see them, especially at my own place, the environment is different. I could see the framed jersey there and the things I have won in the past and it makes me really happy and proud that I left home and I came back with beautiful medals.

“When I look back, I have to be proud of myself because I have seven league medals. As a kid in the village I don’t think I have ever dreamed of having such, it is a dream come true for me,” Kekana added.

The Downs skipper, along with teammates Anthony Laffor and Denis Onyango, are the only three players with seven league titles with their first Premiership medals coming from their tenure at SuperSport United.

Kekana says in his wildest of dreams, he would have never imagined that he’d be counted among the most decorated players in the Premier Soccer League.

“I was telling my younger brother two nights after we won the Nedbank Cup that I love these memories that I have created in my career. There have been beautiful memories and if it is a dream may I continue to sleep until I retire,” said Kekana.

He continued: “I always remind myself of a seven-year-old Hlompho growing up in the village and the only thing that he wanted to do was to play football. The only thing that I know and always knew is to play football. I cannot forget what I did as a kid to find myself in this space that I am in right now. The one thing that drives me is to see myself playing while I still have an opportunity because we know that I cannot play forever, there will be a time when I will stop but while I still have the opportunity to play, I will use this moment.”

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