Ncikazi must watch his words



Contrariety. This is easily described as feeling irritated by someone or something. I am not a school teacher but I thought I should describe this word first because that is what I am going to be for some of you and especially my good old friend Mandla Ncikazi, the Orlando Pirates interim co-coach.

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I know you read the last column I wrote where I advised it – of course it was unsolicited, so that was boring in itself. He read that one too.

But I’m about to advise him again, and I’ll continue until he’s bored enough to listen to me and maybe do the right thing.

Ncikazi is a good trainer who has proven himself in the trade. He started at the bottom and now he’s at the top, where I truly believe he deserves to be. The fact that he also played the game on a professional level should help him.

My problem with him today, however, is the same point of contention that I had with him the last time I wrote about him.

I thought about writing him an open letter, but I thought that would be too personal and that other people who might benefit from this advice might just ignore it because it is directed at someone in particular.

You see, Ncikazi has been embroiled in a controversy that now has the potential to make enemies out of him. He is already a persona non grata among some of the Pirates fans. And the sad thing is that it’s not because he does a bad job, but because of the things he says.

I have already said that he must stay away from “Komphelarisms” because it can make or break him. It might if it really succeeds like it has its creator Steve Komphela.

But if he’s wrong – as he has so far – it could spell his end. This has already brought him out as a person whose thought processes are 99% blocked.

He made a valid point recently when asked how to stop Mamelodi Sundowns spiraling dominance. He said the PSL should consider capping its spending.

But he didn’t stop there, he had to be a Komphela and use analogies to give impetus to his point of view and that’s where he went south. The main point he was making got lost in the analogy he used.

He explained how Sundowns shop at Woolworths while Pirates and other clubs are forced to shop at Pick n Pay and Spar. This analogy was flawed on all counts because, by South African standards, people who shop at Pick n Pay and Spar are considered elite. The masses shop at “My Friend”, aka the local Spaza stores owned by foreign nationals.

But what’s worse is that he unwittingly belittled his own players at Orlando Pirates by suggesting that by any standard they don’t match the Sundowns’ crop.

And Rulani Mokwena did not miss the opportunity to rub salt in Ncikazi’s wound by underscoring this point. Ncikazi did what any decent human does when they’re wrong – apologize.

But I take his apology with a pinch of salt because he said, “I’m sorry, but…” He then went on to suggest that Mokwena had something personal against him and Orlando Pirates and blah blah blah. It’s not manly. You bafo are from the KZN campaign and you and I know that a man stands up for himself and owns up to his mistakes without blaming anyone else. My advice is to keep it simple and don’t sound smart because maybe the people you’re talking to aren’t there for smarts, but for performance – in every essence and every sense of the word.

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