Kaizer Chiefs legend realises his father’s dream as he graduates with law degree aged 58

The former player has added another feather on his decorated academic cap

Kaizer Chiefs legend Ntsie Maphike has added another feather to his cap after graduating with a law degree at the age of 58.

In what is an inspirational story, Maphike has graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of South Africa (Unisa), adding onto the many honours in his name from academia and football.

Having embraced education while still actively playing, Maphike completed his (BA) and BA (Hons) degrees while turning out for Amakhosi and registered for a Masters Diploma in Education (ME Dip) towards the end of his football career.

He would land a job as a lecturer at the Soweto College of Education, a position he held for four years until the institution's closure.

‘Persevered through deferred modules and complexities of distance learning’

Maphike then went back to his first love, football, returning to Kaizer Chiefs as an academy coach, before eventually becoming the club's Education Officer, leveraging his strong academic background and passion for education to oversee the education needs of all players, both professional and developmental.

However, during all this time, he had a burning desire to fulfil a promise he made to his late father: to pursue legal studies and despite his advancing years, enrolled for a law degree.

“Facing the challenges of being a mature student in a technological age, Maphike persevered through deferred modules and the complexities of distance learning,” the Unisa said on its website.

“His support system, particularly his wife, played a crucial role in keeping him focused and motivated. The flexibility of Unisa's study schedule allowed him to balance his responsibilities as an employee and family man effectively.”

‘The simple choice is, do you want to go on pension at the age of 30 or 65?’

Maphike, who now hopes to become an admitted attorney, specialising in property development and registration, including notaries and conveyancing, has credited discipline for carrying him through the challenging journey and advised footballers to embrace education when still young.

“Education is for a lifetime compared to football, which only has a lifespan of about 10 years, if one is lucky. The simple choice is, do you want to go on pension at the age of 30 or 65? Life is about making good choices,” Maphike said in his message to footballers.

Affectionately known as ‘Teargas,’ Maphike spent a decade at Chiefs in the 1980s and 90s and won every trophy available during his stay with the Glamour Boys. 

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.