Siphiwe Tshabalala: I suffered financially after failed fish and chips business


Kaizer Chiefs legend Siphiwe Tshabalala has opened up about his financial suffering after his failed fish and chips business.

The Fish & Chip Co. opened doors in June 2011 as the former Bafana Bafana playmaker moved into business for the first time to capitalise on the growing popularity and status of his football career.

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However, the 35-year-old admits it may not have been the wisest decision and laments the lack of guidance South African footballers receive in terms of handling their finances at a young age.

Speaking to the South African Football Journalists' Association, the 90-time capped South African icon opened up about overcoming failure and why it's imperative to make sound investments at the peak of your career.

"What really helped me was discipline. It's key, not only in football but everywhere. If you want to be successful you must be disciplined, determined and patient," Tshabalala explains when asked about his role models.

"Don't compare yourself with the next person. Growing up, the advice we would get [from older players] was just common, they would advise in making investments [like] buying a house and saving money and that's where it ends.

"So you would buy a house and then what? You buy a R500 000 house or a R1-million house then you retire and you're left with R2-million left in your pocket. It's not going to sustain you. When you retire at 35, you know to 60 it's still a long time to live a good life.

"We needed proper education, to say you must buy a house and why you should buy one, why you must invest in property, why you must invest in cars or whatever."

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Tshabalala continues: "I learnt the hard way, investing in the wrong business and losing a lot of money, so I taught myself in a way that I should try [investing] at an early age and if it doesn't work and I get burnt, then I still have a chance to recover.

"I invested in the fish and chips business and I suffered a lot financially but I didn't give up, I tried other things. So it's been very difficult for me in terms of investing. If I had proper knowledge, then I would have made better decisions."

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The veteran midfielder, who recently confirmed that he's still looking to return to professional football after almost a year out of action, went on to add that his early setbacks off the pitch still irk him, and he has urged for the fear-of-failure culture to come to an end.

"So yes, people will say [to young footballers] you must invest, don't be like Shabba. I don't take it well when someone makes reference to a person who didn't do things correctly [over their career]," he says.

"They still deserve respect. If you lose your house when you retire, the person doesn't need less respect. Footballers must learn from their mistakes in order to grow [as human beings].

"So we need to tell our stories, whether it's good or bad, share ideas, gather wisdom and grow [together]."

Story by: Lorenz_KO