SA’ YouTube sensation joins Bots’s Rollers
By Bakang Mhaladi
GABORONE – Tsepo ‘Skhwama’ Matete shot to fame when a YouTube video post of his skills attracted more than 700,000 views in 2015.
A year later, he was on the books of Baroka FC, signing his first professional contract, after drawing admiring but not firm glances from Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates.
He did not last and was released in January, and then immediately linked with a move to Rollers.
Despite earlier denials, Rollers pocketed the attacking midfielder who signed a two-year deal on Friday.
Skhwama, largely considered a ‘luxury footballer’ in modern football, will move to Gaborone when Rollers begin pre-season training on July 1. He managed only 87 minutes of football last season before Baroka offered early parol in January.
“We have successfully completed the signing of Tsepo Matete from Baroka FC (South Africa),” the club confirmed.
However, sports journalist, Kabelo Boranabi argues the signing might not work for Rollers.
“If you watch him closely, he is a luxury player, unless if (Rollers coach, Teenage) Mpote changes his technical approach.
“Yes, he (Matete) will bring fans to the stadium but question marks over his ability will always remain,” Boranabi told The Southern Times.
The 25-year-old becomes the third South African to play for Rollers after Papi Mokwena and former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, Manqoba ‘Shakes’ Ngwenya.
Despite attracting attention and finding fame on YouTube, Matete found it difficult to match growing expectations on the pitch.
He would move to Botswana with the hope of reviving what is already a fading career so early on.
His trip up north means the Botswana league is slowly appealing to mostly ‘rejected’ South African players after Ngwenya and Benedict Vilakazi became the two high profile players to join the BTC Premiership in 2014.
However, it did not pan out well for both, with Vilakazi returning to South Africa after a frustrating spell at troubled Notwane who struggled to pay his dues.
Ngwenya, who had joined Vilakazi at Notwane, was later snatched by Rollers, but after one season, the club decided against giving him further extension despite a successful campaign.