Donald Khuse was in it for the fans, not money
Kaizer Chiefs legend reflects on how the professional football world has changed since the 1980s
Kaizer Chiefs legend Donald “Ace” Khuse has revealed that when he was first signed to play professional football for Orlando Pirates in 1983, he earned R150 a month.
Khuse‚ now involved in Chiefs’ development‚ disclosed the staggeringly minor salaries he was paid in the 1980s playing for Mamelodi Sundowns and then Kaizer Chiefs into the early 1990s.
However‚ Khuse said ahead of Saturday’s Absa Premiership Soweto derby between Amakhosi and Pirates at FNB Stadium that players in those days were not concerned with money‚ but with entertaining football spectators.
Comparing today’s players with those of his time‚ he said: “I had so much to prove to people that I knew the game‚ and I loved the game so much that I didn’t care about how much I was earning. I could tell you‚ ‘I was earning so much’‚ but you wouldn’t believe it.”
Khuse was asked how much.
“When I came in at Pirates [it was] R150. After a year they gave me R250. Until I left Pirates I was earning that amount.
“I went to Sundowns‚ I got R600. And after Sundowns I came to Kaizer Chiefs — I got R1,500.
“But I didn’t care about money. What I was interested in was to make people happy‚ and to try to do my best and perform in every game. We were dedicated and wanted to make sure that we made the people happy whenever we were in the field of play.”
Khuse played in the old National Soccer League (NSL)‚ the precursor to what became the multimillion rand — now the multibillion rand — Premier Soccer League (PSL).
He would have earned a decent retirement package at the tailend of his playing career, turning out for Genclerbirligi and Antalyaspor in Turkey from 1993 until 1997.