Mntambo had a rather unconventional rise to the big stage and reminded his followers how he started off as a waiter after high school. Mntambo has been influential for coach Lehlohonolo Seema’s team, who currently sit fourth on the DStv Premiership standings, with the mercurial midfielder contributing with five goals and two assists in his eight appearances so far this season. His journey to professional football wasn’t an easy or conventional one and “Figo” reminded his 283k Instagram followers of his humble first small job after high school as a waiter. Mntambo was responding to an inspiring story about TV & radio broadcaster, Loot Love (real name Luthando Shosha), and how she’ll be enjoying a full circle moment at the Metro Awards this April.

Loot Love will be hosting this year’s Metro Awards and she revealed to listeners of the station about how she served Mzansi’s A-listers at Spur after the Metro FM awards in 2006, during her Matric year. The Babina Noko skipper related to Loot Love’s story and responded by writing: “I 100% relate to @lootlove2’s story, [it] reminds me of 2007 after my matric year when I was a waiter at Emperors Palace and I got to host [work] at the PSL awards and look at me today.” Before getting his shot at professional football at lower division side Roses United, which lead to his breakthrough at Jomo Cosmos, the ex-Buccaneer worked as a waiter straight after school and grinded for around five years at a plastic packaging firm as a warehouse assistant. “I was earning R10 per hour working as a waiter and I would work a shift of eight hours a day, which meant I got R80.

The money was little, but I had people to feed at home. We once hosted the PSL awards at Emperors Palace which stretched until late at night and by then, there weren’t any trains running, so after such event, I had to go and sleep in the change rooms, and wait until the first train at 4 am,” he once told *KickOff Magazine* in 2019.

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