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‘Zuma’ on top of his game

Masheshena’s dribbling wizard, Makara Ntaitsane known to soccer fans as Zuma is on top of his game as he bangs in goals like no ones’ business.

Ntaitsane kicked off the current season with six goals in the Lesotho Premier League a big achievement for someone who is playing in the midfield. Zuma as he is known to his legion of fans is known for his magnificent passes and hunger for goals yet he is the midfield player. He started his football career as an under 12 player at Likhopo FC where his talents were seen by coaches of Lesotho under 12 whereby he was called to represent Lesotho against South African under 12 team.

The year was 2000 when his talents became obvious to everyone, forcing himself to the under 15 youth national team which played against Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. In 2008/9 season Zuma was promoted to Likhopo FC senior team and won the premiership title in his first time in the elite league which was then called Vodacom Lesotho Premier League.

‘I started my playing career at Likhopo FC from an early age because I grew up playing soccer in our street. Me and my friends would often pretend to be the famous players playing on television especially when Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates played. That is where I got the nickname of Zuma after Sibusiso Zuma of Orlando Pirates. I was known for dribbling and running fast just like Sibusiso,’ says Makara.

He said his love for football grew more as he was often selected to play for national teams and believed that his talent would take him far. After winning the Lesotho premier league in 2008/9 season, Likhopo represented Lesotho in the CAF Championship where they lost to FC Zanaco of Zambia on 1-0 aggregate.

Zuma said Likhopo then, lost a lot of players to teams such as Bantu FC, LCS and Lioli FC but he stayed on until 2013 when he left for Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS). At Masheshena  where he is currently plying his football trade Zuma once again showed that winning was in his DNA as Masheshena won Alliance Winter Cup in two consecutive years since joining the team in 2013.

‘I came to LCS as a Midfield-cum-striker because it is the position that I used to play at Likhopo whereby I was given a free role. I used to adore Ramashalane Taeli who was playing for Masheshena who was wearing no: 7 jersey that I’m wearing now and I vowed that one day I would play with him but unfortunately on the year that I joined Masheshena he retired from football,’ he says.

Zuma is ecstatic that Masheshena is on the cusp of winning LNIG Top 8 tournament after booking a final spot by beating Lioli 2-1 on aggregate  last weekend. LCS will be playing in the upcoming MGC tournament which will be held in Mantsonyane in the Thaba-Tseka district 16 and 17 March.

Ntaitsane said his ambition was to topple Matlama in its current number 1 position in the Econet Premier League to clinch the title. His favourite radio stations are Lesedi FM and PCFM and he loves House music. Zuma is married with a two year old daughter whom he says is the apple of his eye.

Ntaitsane has two caps under his belt for representing Likuena in the national duty against other countries such as Ghana and Botswana. He says his dream is to play for Orlando Pirates before retiring from the good game. His dream is start a business to make good use of his Entrepreneurship Degree from Limkokwing University of Creative Knowledge.

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