Ex-Pirates, Chiefs striker Mkhize speaks about near-suicide attempt

Mkhize played for African Wanderers in Durban before going on to play for Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the mid-2000s. However, he has spoken about how his career was derailed as a result of a bad party scene, poor money management, and alcoholism.

Mkhize ended himself broke and homeless, even begging for money on the streets of his hometown of Estcourt in KwaZulu Natal, but the 49-year-old has now turned his life around after returning to football as a coach of youth teams in the area.

Recently speaking at ‘Diageo’s Wrong Side of the Road Campaign’, which is aimed at creating awareness around the dangers of driving under the influence, Mkhize spoke candidly about his past life, including a shooting incident.

“When things started heating up, after I lost my career after the gunshot at Chiefs, when I went back home, when people looked at me, they thought it was all over (for me). I remember one time, I locked myself in my room. I took my gun, I put it in front of me. I said ‘because cars cannot end my life, I am going to end my life myself,” he commented, as quoted by the Phakaathi website

“Right then something came across my mind, there were people who needed me that I have forgotten. I have kids, something came into my mind, to say ‘people need you’.”

Mkhize is now coaching Under-15 and Under-17 teams in Estcourt.

Mkhize went on to further discuss the 2003 incident when he accidentally shot himself in the leg with his own gun, which effectively ended his career.

“I opened up my house, I had no money, I started to stand on the streets asking for a lift to town, asking if anyone had two Rand. Football is in my heart, after that … I had to start afresh, to tell the truth to people…

“Today I have nothing. Not one car, not a wife, not a house to sleep in,” Mkhize added.

“I must say alcohol destroyed my life, my career, everything. If I had managed to look after myself at that time when I was playing, I wouldn’t be in this situation right now.”

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