Date:13 February 2017 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Among the recipients of a diploma in theology during the 16th diploma ceremony of the Kingdom School of Ministry at Tshifulanani last Saturday was the former football star Ishmael Maluleke.
Born in Malamulele 39 years ago, Maluleke started playing football at the age of seven. At that stage, he was playing for the development side of Langutani Blue Birds.
He did not get the chance to play for the senior team of Blue Birds, as there was a lot of talent in the camp at the time. That forced him to go and try his luck with Giyani United. He later moved to Ngobe Leeds United. After passing Grade 12, Malulele enrolled for a diploma in sports management and marketing at the Durban University of Technology.
While at university, Maluleke did not forget his God-given talent for football. He played for the university soccer team for a year before joining African Wanderers, where he played alongside well-known strikers Siyabonga Nomvete and Phumlani Mkhize. That was the starting point of his professional football career.
He then moved from one club to the other, including Manning Rangers, Mamelodi Sundowns, Highlandspark Silver Stars, Jomo Cosmos, Amazulu and Thanda Royal Zulu. After obtaining his qualification in sports management and marketing, Maluleke worked for several companies before coming back home four years ago.
While at home, Maluleke dedicated much of his time to ministering, since he was born into a Christian family. When his mother, Dr Khensani Selina Maluleke, decided to establish a new branch of her church, The Solomon Porch Tabernacle Church, in Giyani two years ago, Ishmael was given the responsibility to lead the congregation.
Realising that he was leading the flock without the relevant qualifications, Maluleke enrolled for a diploma in theology at the Kingdom School of Ministry early last year. Apart from ministering, Maluleke is presently working as sports analyst for Munghana Lonene FM. He said his dream was to become a world-acclaimed motivational speaker.
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.