Where is ‘SA’s Drogba’, Former Kaizer Chiefs Star Bongani Ndulula

Fans have very high expectations when a player is given the Didier Drogba moniker, honouring the renowned Ivorian striker who had a distinguished career with Chelsea Football Club. This was the situation when Bongani Ndulula, who joined Soweto powerhouse Orlando Pirates in 2010, was first presented to South African football fans.

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The soccer player, who is from Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape, left the defunct Free State team, Bloemfontein Celtics, and joined the Buccaneers.

Ndulula’s tenure with Siwelele was brief because the team abruptly released him after only four games, leaving him without a club.

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His move to Pirates gave him the recognition he needed as a 20-year-old striker. However, in the three years with The Sea Robbers, Ndulula would only make 20 appearances and score four goals.

Ndulula has also had stints with Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United.

His first international goal for Bafana Bafana came in his debut against Sudan in a 2015 Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier. He scored his second one month later against Congo.

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In 2013, after leaving Pirates, Ndulula signed a two-year deal with KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) side, AmaZulu, where he would make 60 appearances and score 13 goals. One of those goals was against current European champions Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini’s men, at the time, lost 2-1 to the Durban side.

Although he enjoyed more game time with Usuthu, Ndulula has recently revealed that he was a victim of witchcraft.

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During his interview on Off The Pitch with TK in July 2022, he alleged that some players would use muti against each other in a battle for a position in the team.

Ndulula shared that while at AmaZulu, he would constantly have to play using a sponge inside his soccer boots because of the pain he suffered whenever he wore them.

“It is tough, it‘s tough in football. They bewitch you so much, you end up looking like you can’t play football at all. You get bewitched by the one sitting next you. The bewitching will make you miss the ball on the line. You end up asking yourself how it happened.

“At AmaZulu, my foot was in endless pain. Once I put on soccer boots and step on the pitch, the pain would start under my foot. The pain would only vanish when I put on my normal shoes after the game. I used to put a sponge inside the boot (to ease off the pain).”

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Ndulula, who is now 33, has not retired from football.

The footballer told Andile Ncube during his interview on Metro FM’s Sports Night Amplified in February this year that he has been a free agent since parting ways with the Chilli Boys at the end of 2016/17 DStv Premiership season and the search for a club has not been easy.

The striker, who is obsessed with Drogba, also shared that he has gone to home affairs to add the legendary name to his ID.

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