Durban Living Legend – Abednigo Shaka Ngcobo

Shaka, so named because of his impressive physique that was said to resemble the great Shaka Zulu, was a Kaizer Chiefs player until his retirement in December 1984. Born in Cato Manor in 1950, Shaka was recruited by Kaizer Chiefs after scoring an impressive six goals against them in a friendly match in 1972. He began playing soccer at a young age, and was the recipient of numerous accolades and awards over the course of his nearly 20 year career, including  ‘Footballer of the Year’ in 1979.

Shaka played for African Bush Rangers as a youngster. In 1968, he played for Rand Koreans, and in the same year he was promoted to playing in the First Division. He played First Division for several teams, such as, Union Jacks, Zulu Royals, and African Wanderers. Ngcobo played for the SA Black XI in 1973 in a match against a team billed as the UK All Stars. He played in a second match against another All Stars side in 1979, at the Rand Stadium.

In 1972, Ngcobo played for Kaizer Chiefs and in 1975 he played for Denver Dynamos in USA. While in USA, he played for Minnesota Kicks in 1976. In 1980 he moved to South America where he played for a team called Penarol. In 1981, he came back to South Africa and returned to his team Kaizer Chiefs until he retired in 1985.

Shaka also shared the record for the fastest goal in South African professional football history, after taking 10 seconds to score against Moroka Swallows at Vosloorus in October 1976. In 2009 he was named an ‘eThekwini Living Legend’ for his outstanding contribution to the development of soccer in Durban.

Shaka passed away at the age of 64 at his home in Alexander, where he was running a taxi business. He is survived by his wife Khanyisile Khumalo, his sister Zandile, his daughter, Bongiwe, and his three grandchildren.

Leave a Reply