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Kadi forever grateful to Shabalala

Calvin Kadi says he went through some dark days before signing his first professional football and at one point even considered suicide.

The 32-year-old enjoyed a long and varied playing career, turning out for Jomo Cosmos, SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits and Greek side PAE Veria while also playing on loan for Portimonense in Portugal.

Kadi lost a scholarship at the University of Pretoria in 2003 and was in a poor way when former Ajax Cape Town midfielder Nhlanhla Shabalala gave him some much-needed advice.

In a Facebook post for Shabalala, Kadi said: "In April 2003, after I had lost my scholarship at Tuks, I was forced to stay at home kicking my heels and feeling hopeless.

"As I was on the verge of committing suicide in December, you did not only visit me at my home to offer me a word of encouragement including few Ajax apparels but you whipped my a** after the motivational talks, like who does such bra?.

"Five months later, I signed my first professional contract with (Jomo) Cosmos."

He added: "So, Nhlanhla Shabalala my brother, not only did you play your heart out at the top level for more than 10 years and being a versatile player and Mr Reliable for Ajax, but I wouldn't have fulfilled my football dreams if it was not for you and the words of encouragement when I was suicidal.

"You also inspired many young players ekasi [in our area] and proved that it is indeed possible to become anything you desire."