‘There is more coming'
Kickoff|February 2020
The arrival of German coach Josef Zinnbauer at Orlando Pirates has coincided with Gabadinho Mhango suddenly raising his performance. His seven goals in Zinnbauer’s first four matches have elevated him to double figures already with a loud shout in the top scorers’ award chase. As Malawi’s top export, Mhango knows he is representing many back home, and thus carries the desire to aim high. He spoke to KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo, revealing he believes there is more coming from him.

KICK OFF: How is this young man from Chiweta is feeling about his football career right now considering all that has happened in recent times…

Gabadinho Mhango: [Smiling] First of all I think I need to thank the Almighty God, my family, my mom, my teammates and Orlando Pirates for bringing me here. It has been great being here because we are playing good football. I can see that there are changes with the football that we are playing now. It is great because you can tell that we are playing for a big team like Orlando Pirates. For me, it is a huge opportunity being at Orlando Pirates.

How would you describe the space that you are in now? What I can tell is that there are a

lot of differences compared to the team [BidVest Wits] that I played for previously. Nowadays I cannot even go out without anyone recognising me. I mean, even the security guard where I stay recognises me and always says ‘Bhakaniya’ [Buccaneer], so I can already tell that there is a difference and this team is big. It is a lot of pressure to know that there are a lot of people watching our games and every movement. These are people who make a lot of sacrifices so that means a lot to me. I am grateful to be at Pirates.

What kind of mental space are you in now knowing the importance of the psychological factor in this game?

Right now, I am just OK. I am just normal because I am feeling good and enjoying my football. What matters the most is that I am happy and enjoying my football.

How do you define the ‘enjoying my football’ part?

It is making the team win because that is what I am employed to do. The fact that we are together as a team of players as well counts because we are a football team that should always stick together through all challenges. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I think about is coming to training because when I come to training, I always feel like I am enjoying my time here. This is the only place where I get to do what I do best, which is to play football. I am enjoying my football here.

The look on your face gives away the excitement you have when talking about training…

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