GEORGE FOOTBALL NEWS - Sibusiso "S'bu" Mvubu, amicably called the "Rose of Thembalethu", has been making a name for himself in local soccer circles as a Safa match official.
Mvubu was born in Mpumalanga in the small town of Barberton. He moved to George at the end of 2008. George Herald spent some time with the 26-year-old to get to know the person behind the name.
Where did it all start?
I used to do it just for fun when the Local Football Association (LFA) League games were underway.
I was initially more focused on playing soccer, but when my team, Heaven Stars Football Club, was relegated in the SAB regional league during our last game, I realised that playing soccer doesn't pay or benefit me in any way.
That's when I saw the gap.
I went to "Bhuti" Bongani Dyana, an LFA executive, and asked him if it is possible for me to join the LFA team of match officials full-time and he was all for it.
The progress of PSL match official Masixole Bambiso was also a huge motivational boost.
The most difficult part was to approach my soccer coach, Heaven Henge, and break the news to him. Luckily, he was very understanding and fully supported my efforts to switch over to refereeing.
I told Bhuti that I honestly was more interested in becoming an assistant referee (AR), but he said the LFA needed more referees than assistant referees.
It was never an easy road for me, but I had the best mentors in Bongani Dyana and Masixole Bambiso. They were absolutely great and they guided me from scratch. I will forever be thankful for that.
Tell us more about your match official achievements.
I was in charge of the provincial finals of the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, the provincial finals of the Nedbank Cup, as well as the Summer/Winter SA Schools Championships, the national SAB u.21 tournament, the national ABC Motsepe play-offs, and I've been given an opportunity to build and grow my career in the DSTV Challenge (DSTV Reserve League).
Besides working as a match official, what are your lessons in life?
Life has taught me a lot. I lost my mother while I was in Grade 5 and then my father when I was in Grade 8. Being orphaned was difficult, but the kind-heartedness and warm support from some amazing people in the community carried me through these trying times.
That's when I realised how important it is to give back to the community, which is something I am still looking forward to doing.
What are you doing to keep yourself in good shape during this difficult time with the Covid-19 pandemic?
With the sport field and training facilities being closed for training I personally do road work just to maintain my level of fitness.
Briefly discuss with us what needs to be done to prevent or protect us against the spreading of Covid-19?
It's of the utmost importance to adhere to the protocols given by the authorities as the nation has already lost a lot of loved ones.
We cannot afford more pain and sad moments. Stick to the golden rules: wear your mask, wash your hands and sanitise, always keep your social distance and avoid crowded areas.
Any advice to young football match officials?
Be passionate. Do something with purpose and set goals. Mostly, maintain your three D's strategy: discipline, dedication and desire.
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