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2018 Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge Man of the match and goal scorer Lunathi Mdatyulwa
has successfully signed a three-year professional contract with Eastern Cape based
Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Chippa United FC. Following the start of the 2018
Ke Yona draft process, the final 16 players who took on last seasons Nedbank Cup
Champions Free State Stars are each spending up to a month with the respective
Premier Soccer League clubs. Trials with the clubs began less than a month ago and
22 year-old Mdatyulwa became the first player to pen a deal.

Through the life-changing opportunity given to the youngster by The Money Experts
Who Do Good, Mdatyulwa joins fellow Nedbank Ke Yona graduates playing on the highest
level such as Bafana Bafana international and Supersport United defender, Aubrey
Maphosa Modiba (2014); Highlands Park Midfielder, Ricardo Versuur ( 2015); Free
State Stars defender, Bongani Mbuli ( 2016) and Bloemfontein Celtic left-back
Bongani Sam (2017) who recently captained the team in the Macufe Cup.
During the 2018 Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge against Free State Stars, “Lulu” as he is
often referred to by his teammates, was at the heart of the team’s attack, scoring a
stunner of a goal to level matters against a much experienced Ea Lla Koto side. His
ability to read the game, propel the team to attack and his sharp eye for goal
earned him much praise and the honour of being selected as Man Of The Match.

Post the announcement of his contract deal, an excited Mdatyulwa excitedly wrote a
message of thanks to The Money Experts Who Do Good which stated: “I just want to say
thanks to Nedbank for giving me a lifetime opportunity like this one. For me it is a
life changing opportunity which I will grab with both hands.” Wrote Mdatyulwa, “It
was not easy getting back to the level where I always knew I belonged, which is part
of a professional team” . The player went on to thank his family, older brother Zola
Mcaciso for not giving up on him and his mentor whom he refers to as his father. He
further reiterated, ” this is the beginning of a new chapter, the best is yet to
come, but it will take hard work, respect, dedication and for me to always be
humble”. The Hout Bay born youngster ended his note by thanking the Ke Yona
technical team consisting of great coaches and management – “I’ve simply learnt a
lot from them’.

Mdatyulwa’s inspirational tale to success is one of hard work, dedication and
passion for the beautiful game of football. At the tender age of just twenty-two,
the pacey attacking midfielder has featured for the development sides of Ajax Cape
Town, Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City. Whilst his talent remained
unquestionable, as with most talented youngsters in South Africa, challenges off the
pitch tampered with his success. Through his participation in the 2018 Nedbank Ke
Yona Team Search, Lulu gained valuable life skills as well as financial skills,
which will assist him in his professional career moving forward.

Nedbank’s Sponsorship manager for football properties, Tutu Ntuli congratulated the
player saying: “We are extremely proud and excited for Lunathi. He is a very
skillful player and proves that there is plenty of talent to be unearthed in the
country. The Ke Yona Team Draft is Nedbank’s way of exposing such talent to the
correct structures within football. Following intense months of being mentored by
the best and playing against the Nedbank Cup champions, the Draft gives these
youngsters a platform to further showcase their talent and hopefully sign for a
professional team. Lunathi worked hard and we wish him all of the best, we trust
that his move will encourage the other graduates on trial to do their best as they
have the potential to score professional contracts.” concluded Ntuli.

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