Sibusiso Vilakazi is passionate about football. And it shows on the field. The 24 year old Bidvest Wits midfielder had a stellar 2013/2014 season, winning several accolades including player of the season and the players’ player of the season.
He started playing at a young age, but never got the chance to go through the ranks of the sport in a traditional way. Instead, he was spotted playing at a tournament when he was 19 and was signed to play for the Wits reserve side. He only played a few games before he was promoted to the first team. Things happened quickly for him after that. So quickly that he says he often has to pinch himself to realise all the opportunities he has had over the past several years.
“Sport was a passion of mine since I was young. But you need to believe in yourself and take responsibility for what you want to happen to you. I want to show youngsters that if you take from life what you want and are prepared to work hard at it, anything is possible,” he says.
Being a perfectionist might also help. Vilakazi is dedicated to continually improving no matter how well he is performing. After training in the morning with the team he still spends a few hours on his own honing his skills and trying to be a well-rounded player.
“Last season was good but the new one presents fresh challenges. I want to keep on improving my skills, score more goals, and provide my teammates with more chances to score. Football is my career and I want to get the most out of it. As with anything in life, what you are prepared to put in, you will get out,” he says.
One of his dreams is to play in Europe and get as much game time as possible there. Given the commitment he has shown to date, it might only be a matter of time before we see him taking on the best in the world in their own backyards at club level. — Iwan Pienaar