Zebras international Mogakolodi Ngele is surely Botswana’s best football export to the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL), considering his farfetched playing statistics in Botswana’s neighbor to the south.
This is the man who this past weekend lifted his seventh trophy after his side, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM), won the Nedbank Cup.
Tsotso, as Ngele is better known, relocated to South Africa in 2012 after being signed by Platinum Stars (now Cape Umoya United) from Township Rollers. It is at Platinum Stars where the lanky midfielder proved his capabilities and propensity to score goals as he played a starring role in ensuring that his team won the Telkom Knockout and MTN8 in 2013, his first-ever trophies in South Africa.
Normally attributed for his gifted left foot, Tsotso played for Platinum Stars 77 times, finding the back of the net 25 times and assisting 10 times in all competitions. It was his red hot form at the time that saw him pleasing the keen eyes of Mamelodi Sundowns scouters and was ultimately signed by the latter in 2015 for a five-year contract.
However, Tsotso’s stay the team affectionately known as ‘The Brazilians’ soon became a complete nightmare as he spent much of the time on loan or completely ignored. Between the 2015/16 and the 2017/18 seasons, Ngele appeared in Sundowns colours 16 times, scoring two times and assisting twice. Despite the limited game time, Tsotso would console himself with the fact that he clinched two PSL titles and a sole domestic cup (Telkom Knockout) with the Pretoria-based outfit.
While at Sundowns, Tsotso was loaned to Bidvest Wits (for the whole of the 2016/17 season) in a move that saw him winning his third PSL trophy. The Mogobane-born player featured for Wits 23 times, scoring six times and assisting four times in all competitions.
To demonstrate that Tsotso was never in Sundowns plans, he was yet again loaned out to Supersport United for the 2017/18 season and played for the Pretoria-based team eight times. He scored once and assisted once in all competitions during his stay at ‘Matsantsa-a- Petori,’ as Supersport United is otherwise known.
Tsotso was finally released from his Sundowns contract in 2019 and went to join Black Leopards on a one-year contract as a free agent which saw him don Leopards colours 12 times, scoring twice and assisting twice. Following his Leopards exit, he joined TMM at the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign. He has so far featured 13 times for the team and has three goals and a sole assist to his name,
The 30-year old’s current team in TTM won the Nedbank Cup this past weekend after defeating Chippa United 1-0. Tsotso was nevertheless not in the squad owing to a suspected injury but he was available to collect his medal. This is the man who was a part of the TTM squad that eliminated his former side, Sundowns, in the semi-finals.
Since relocating to South Africa in 2012, Tsotso has a played a total of 149 games (a tally from all his clubs), making him the highest Motswana scorer on PSL with 39 goals and 20 assists to his name.
“Tsotso is arguably the most gifted export we have ever had,” renowned football analyst, Jimmy George, told this publication in an interview. “He has won silverware wherever he went and it was pleasing this past weekend to see him win yet again.
For me his biggest achievement is winning the league with Wits. But to be honest, I don’t think he has done justice to his talent. With due respect to TTM, Tsotso should be playing for a top four team at the peak of his career. He is going to look back and feel he should have done more. He has an educated left foot and the brains to match, this superb free kick specialist who can win any game, any time.”