Soweto Derby: African stars that have shone at one of Africa’s fiercest derbies


The Soweto Derby, an iconic fixture in South African football, is set to ignite passion and rivalry once again as Orlando Pirates lock horns with Kaizer Chiefs at the legendary FNB Stadium on Saturday.

As fans eagerly anticipate the clash between these two titans, it’s worth reflecting on the African stars who have left an indelible mark on this historic rivalry.

For Kaizer Chiefs, Eshele Botende stands out as one of the greatest goalkeepers to grace the South African league during the early 90s. The DR Congo-born shot-stopper’s agility and flamboyance between the sticks made him a formidable presence, especially in the Soweto Derby where he famously kept a clean sheet in all three encounters he played.

Zimbabwean sensation Knowledge Musona’s arrival at Kaizer Chiefs at the age of 19 heralded the emergence of a prolific striker. Musona’s prowess in front of goal and his ability to unsettle the Orlando Pirates defense made him a standout performer in the Derby, with one of his memorable displays resulting in a brace and an own goal in a 3-1 victory over Pirates.

Patrick Mabedi, hailing from Malawi, epitomized defensive solidity during his time at Kaizer Chiefs. As captain, Mabedi played a pivotal role in organizing the Chiefs defense, providing leadership and resilience in tightly contested Soweto Derby encounters.

Orlando Pirates, on the other hand, boasted a contingent of Nigerian talents, with Williams Okpara emerging as one of the club’s greatest goalkeepers. Okpara’s commanding presence between the posts played a crucial role in Pirates’ success against Chiefs.

Nigerian midfielder Onyekachi Okonkwo, affectionately known as “Sam Pam,” left an indelible mark as Pirates’ captain and a free-kick specialist, contributing significantly to the team’s victories in the Derby.

Zambia’s Dennis Lota remains etched in the memory of Orlando Pirates fans for his lethal goal-scoring prowess. Lota’s standout performance in the 1999/2000 Soweto Derby, where he found the back of the net in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Chiefs, further solidified his status as one of the club’s best imports.

As the Soweto Derby enters a new era, fans eagerly anticipate the emergence of fresh talent from both sides. Mozambican defender Edmilson Dove, who impressed at the recent TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, is expected to play a crucial role in Kaizer Chiefs’ defense.

For Orlando Pirates, Namibian midfielder Deon Hotto’s recent exploits at the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON, where he played a pivotal role in his country’s historic advancement to the knockout stages, position him as one to watch in the upcoming clash.

As the stage is set for another enthralling encounter between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the legacy of African stars in the Soweto Derby continues to shine brightly, adding to the rich tapestry of South African football history.

We are Africa’s number one online sports community created by true fans.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this