Sibongiseni Mthethwa has shared a heartfelt farewell to the Stellenbosch FC faithful after completing a move to Kaizer Chiefs.
Mthethwa departs on the back of an impactful 19-month spell in Stellenbosch where his all-action performances saw him emerge as an influential player in the dressing room and as a popular figure among the club’s supporters.
Ahead of what he describes as a bitter-sweet departure, the 29-year-old midfielder reflected on his time in the Cape Winelands and on the role the club played in his development as both a footballer and person.
“To leave a club that has been like a family to me, and to leave people behind who have been like brothers is not easy,” he said. “It has been an honour to represent Stellenbosch FC and even though I was here for less than two years, I learned so much and grew so much as a man in that time.
“The support from the coaches and the staff, and the wise words and encouragement made it feel like a family, always united no matter what, and always backing each other on and off the field.
“That bond that I have with the team, the fans, and the whole community of Stellenbosch is deep, and leaving something like that behind is not an easy thing.
“Of course, I’’m also happy for this opportunity. I’ve been working very hard for the name behind and for the badge in front and if it wasn’t for that hard work, I wouldn’t have earned this move.
“Now people know the name, but I wouldn’t be achieving what I am achieving were it not for Stellenbosch. The things I have achieved, getting a Bafana Bafana call-up, it all started here.
“I’ve always been the person I am, but Stellenbosch added more to me, and the trust the coaches had in me, and the trust to allow me to play with freedom, is what made me the Ox people see right now.
“All in all, I just want to say thank you to everyone at Stellenbosch FC for the opportunity, for guiding me, for being there for me in difficult times, and for being there for my family…”
Mthethwa’s charisma, leadership, and community involvement, as well as his reciprocal affection for the matchday crowd, saw him enjoy a unique adulation from the club’s supporters, and he was quick to pay tribute to the Stellies faithful.
“This is not the end of the road, we are still going to meet again in the future, you never know,” he says.
“But for now, I want to say thank you to the fans for their support. When I entered that field, I knew they were there, and it gave me that spirit, that encouragement, and that belief to succeed.
“Those people were there to support me so I had to make sure that if I had to die on that field, I would die there, if I had to do anything, I had to do it without hesitation because I knew they were behind me.
“Whether it was raining or sunny, they were always there with a smile, singing those songs and that, I will never, ever forget. I will never forget it…”