Mamelodi Sundowns' on-loan starlet Khayalihle Shozi grateful for Mabhuti Khenyeza's role in his development


Pinetown-born Shozi is currently on a season long loan from Sundowns to NFD side Black Leopards, where he's helping them to push for promotion playoffs.

Khenyeza scored 12 goals in 46 appearances for Sundowns between 2009 and 2012 before departing to join Sundowns' city rivals Supersport United.

The 34-year-old, who is now playing for promotion hopefuls AmaZulu, took care of Shozi when he was two years old due to an unfavourable home enviroment. 

Khenyeza acted as guardian to the young winger and his brother, providing for their wellbeing and contributing to the burial of Shozi's father when he passed away.

Shozi was taken to the Brazilians' academy by Khenyeza, going on to form a formidable partnership with Percy Tau in the Multichoice Diski Challenge prior to his loan move to Lidoda Duvha.

"Mabhudi is the one who raised me and he took me away from home and became like a father to me," Shozi shares with

"I have respect for him for what he did for me and even today I still have massive respect for him for what he did for me. I'm where I am today because he played an important part in my life.

"He gave me the opportunity to play football. I'm a boy who grew up in the village that is far from civilization where there was no chance that I could play football to be where I'm at today. For Mabhuti to know me, and take me like his son, played a huge role.

"Obviously I don't have a father and the person I called my mother was my grandmother and he [Khenyeza] took me as I was little boy, and I stayed with him and he did everything a parent can do.

"I wish one day if I can make it in football and I can help others behind me to play football. There's so many things he did and obviously other things I can't mention but I'm sometimes lost for words because he has done so much in my life."

Shozi, who possesses a similar skillset to Sundowns stalwart Teko Modise, has scored two goals in 20 appearances for Jean Francois Losciuto's side and will face Khenyeza's AmaZulu in a crunch match on Saturday.