As a young footballer, Khayelihle Shozi had a promising career. After graduating from the Sundowns Academy, he began training with the first squad under the leadership of Pitso Mosimane.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Tshwane City midfielder Khayelihle’s Shozi’s fame has gone down the drain after he was found wandering the streets as a homeless man, not having showered in months, and searching through garbage cans for food.
In 2022, the soccer player’s life took a turn for the worst when he went missing from his club twice. He was discovered and counselled for the first time.
His family found him the second time, after weeks of searching, and he was taken to a psychiatric facility. He received assistance, and his family believed they had resolved his mental health difficulties.
Meanwhile, Sundowns have agreed to help him with his mental health issues.
Khayelihle, 28, was recently spotted on the streets again. Simphiwe Shozi, the family’s representative, said that seeing him in that way hurts the family badly.
“We have tried our level best to help. We will not give up. It breaks our hearts to see him in this state. We are still trying to get him help where we can,” he said.
Mabhuti Khenyeza, who was playing for Chloorkop at the time, welcomed the Pinetown-born standout to Sundowns in 2010.
Khayelihle was a skilful midfielder with a keen eye for goal. Pitso Mosimane, the award-winning football manager and Al Ahli FC head coach, expressed his sadness, stating he had immense potential.
He said, “Very sad to see this image. His combination with Percy Tau was amazing. We even promoted him to the Senior Team ahead of Percy. He came through the same development program, like Pitso, Keletso, Promise, etc. Cassius (debut in preseason Zambia July 2019).Special talent!”
Speaking about the footballer’s good days, Simza said, “I remember watching this boy atKanyamazane stadium Nelspruit, told one of my friends that watch the boy calledKhayelihle Shozi he just told me I only see Teko Modise.”
Meanwhile, Lapolagang Mpha said, “I used to call him Tekowith pace, I liked his combination with Percy Tau via Diski Challenge how I wished u could have paired them in our 1st team.”