26 July 2018 – Out in the field of play, the soccer ball serves as a crystal ball for Burger-King sponsored South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa who sees flashes of his future and what it would be like if he just continues working hard and believing in his dreams.
And that’s because from an early age, years before he even turned pro, Meyiwa set goals to see himself one day playing in both three junior Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and junior Fifa World Cups respectively, just before he earned a move to go and play abroad.
Five out of those seven goals came to pass, to be exact. At just 18 years of age, the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder will play in his third Africa Cup of Nations tournament after helping Amajita to reach next year’s biennial continental showpiece which will take place in Niger, following their 2-0 win on aggregate over Malawi out in Lilongwe.
It’s an achievement which brings as smile across his face when he talks about it given the fact that this will be his third Afcon tournament appearance in a row, after having formed part in the 2015 South Africa’s Under-17 squad which reached the Niger edition final, and also the Amajita squad who qualified for last year’s Fifa Under-20 World Cup.
Meyiwa even reckons that he will feature in his third consecutive Fifa World Cup appearance, as the player has full confidence that Amajita will do better than they did in their previous appearance on the continental stage.
“That’s what I believe is the ambition of the whole Amajita squad now,” Meyiwa said. “In our previous appearance, we lost out on a chance to be in the final following our 1-0 loss against Zambia in the semis. This time we’ve got to do better. I always want to do better and achieve more. And that’s why I even took time to put an extra shift this past off season to work on other aspects of my game. I’m always looking for ways to improve as a player. I want to go and play abroad. That’s my ultimate dream. I once had a casual chat with some football agents and they advised me that the only way to crack it into European football is that if you are a player who can both attack, defend and score goals at the same time. That’s the level I’m gunning for at the moment.”
Asked how he felt about qualifying for a major continental tournament three times in a row in his young playing career, Meyiwa said with a light chuckle in his voice: “It feels great really. I always set a high standard for myself. It’s nice to see most of my dreams come to pass. As a kid, I’d always wish to see myself playing in three major football tournaments such as the Fifa World Cups and the Afcon tournaments. All of that is now manifesting. And that is why I work so hard. My dream is to now see myself earning a move abroad. I’m quite aware that it’s not going to be easy however, it’s possible. It can be done.”