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Former Bafana Bafana Star Reveals Struggles With Depression

A former Bafana Bafana star opens up about his struggles with depression.

Footballers are among the famous people in many parts of Africa today, and considering what many of them who play in professional leagues across the continent earn on a monthly basis, they easily get anything they want for themselves.

However, there are some footballers who have misused the opportunity and had their careers affected due to what one would call recklessness and greed.

A good number of the players, who once were regarded as being in the upper echelons of society, have sunk in depression due to drugs abuse, never to be heard of again.

Recently, former Bafana Bafana forward Lerato Chabangu made headlines when an image of him holding a beer was posted on social media.

And now the striker, who last featured for Chippa United, has come out to confess that he has been battling depression after losing everything from his days as a professional footballer.

Chabangu first made his name at Mamelodi Sundowns from 2005 until 2009, and later on, went to Moroka Swallows from 2011-2015.

At the height of his career, Chabangu was a generous person who often footed bills for his large entourage including dozens of women who followed him wherever he went.

While it is not exactly known when things began to go downhill, the ex-international made a revelation stating that he has no one to blame for the troubles he is faced with.

The 33-year-old, who is believed to be staying with his grandmother, also offered free advice to youngsters hoping to turn professional to learn from his life story and stay away from bad company.

“You can say I have been hiding from people, I don’t even go to stadiums,” Chabangu told Radio 2000 in an interview.

“I do feel like I’m depressed. I comfort myself by watching TV. I disappointed lots of people.”

“I was found in a wrong space, most of my friends were living in the township. I could say that I have destroyed myself, I can’t really blame others. If you are at the wrong space, the negative things will catch you.”

Now Chabangu wants to start a foundation, and even get back on to the football pitch that once made him a star and earned him 28 caps for Bafana Bafana.

“This problem that I am having (depression), I know I am not alone,” he said. “I was hoping to open the Lerato Chabangu Foundation to help (people) where I come from.”

“I will be open to help the younger ones that are coming (through). They should not go through what I went through.”

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