Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ALEXANDER “Cool Ruler” Maseko’s career ended in a familiar way – an injury on duty which left him with broken bones, frustrated and disappointed after his South Africa club Mamelodi Sundowns refused to settle his hospital bills.
But unlike most players, this did not break his dream.
Fast forward 21 years later and he is now a successful businessman in the telecommunications industry.
The South Africa-based Warriors legend has moulded himself into a businessman of note from the time he made the break into the industry after being employed by Vodacom in South Africa exactly 20 years ago.
“I remember long back when I was young there were players like Rodrick Muganhiri, he was a doctor and that was a good example before we came on board,” said Maseko.
“Then we also had Tauya Murehwa who was also a medical doctor and by then people should have realised that a player’s life is not all about football.
“Many people think that footballers are not educated, which is wrong.
“There are footballers who are educated. The thing is that those who are not educated; the mistakes which they make are taken to portray that all footballers are the same, which is not.
“Just after the ordeal with Sundowns I decided that let me look after my family. That was it.
“Whatever I wanted to do then it was all about me looking after my family.
“I didn’t think about other people, I didn’t think about soccer.
“I told myself my kids are still going to school, let me just look after them and I am glad I did look after them.
“I will not talk about my first-born because he is now big, he is in IT.
“My last born is doing fifth year medicine. So we have a doctor in the family.
“The other thing, most people think footballers love womanising and whatever but you know what? If you are a well-known figure, it’s obvious people talk to you and when they see you speaking to people of the opposite sex, they rush to say ‘look they love women’ yet that’s not the case.
“Some of us have been married for the past 26 years and I am still with my wife, happily married.”
Maseko said he was still worried about his former teammates.
“We need ex-players who have made it to come out and say life is not about this, life is not about you being seen and you womanising.
“When you are a footballer, there are girls who will fall for you but you must be disciplined enough.
“If you have someone, you must believe in that person, that’s all.
“The main thing I can say on my part is focus, discipline and respect. That’s all.
“If you discipline yourself and respect others, then you will make it,” said Maseko.
Besides, his personal business in the telecommunications area, Maseko also runs a sports management company called Focus Sports Management which has vested interests in grassroots development.
He belongs to the generation of the Dream Team assembled by Reinhard Fabisch in the early 1990s.
“It was a pleasure playing alongside those guys. It was like playing with the cream of the players in the history of Zimbabwe. Like I said, to us it wasn’t more about the money but about enjoying the game.
“There was great competition when clubs met in league games.
“But football has changed drastically. It’s now commercialised, it’s more of how much am I going to get at the end of the day.
“Despite that, Zimbabwe still has talent and as you can see South Africa has been on the prowl for talent from this side. The Zimbabwean players have made a huge impact in the ABSA Premiership,” said Maseko.