Matlaba watched his former Orlando Pirates teammate lift the first trophy of the season in SuperSport United colours recently and concedes it made a statement to him and other players who have left Parktown.
After not winning anything with Pirates for the past five years Matlaba, Gabuza and Makola were released during the off-season, with 'Ganda Ganda' claiming the first bragging rights, even over those still with The Buccaneers.
Matlaba and Makola are now hoping to win silverware with Black Leopards and Cape Town City respectively to show off to their former teammate Gabuza.
"I am happy for Gabuza. He deserves everything. He deserves to be happy. He is a hard worker. He deserves to play for SuperSport United and has made a great contribution," Matlaba said.
"He has just won the MTN8. I have been calling and texting him. I have been telling him that he deserves everything that is coming his way.
"To be honest this is the first step for Black Leopards to do better [in the Telkom Knockout]. We want to go as far as possible. Gabuza has put a little bit of pressure on us, me and Makola. We are friends.
"He has something and we haven't won anything yet. It's a pressure. I hope with my team we will do well in the Telkom Cup."
Leopards are set to visit Highlands Park for their first Telkom Knockout fixture in Tembisa on Sunday (15h00) while Cape Town City take on Kaizer Chiefs in Cape Town on Saturday (15h00).