Next generation: Top young talents at Chiefs

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  • Post published:May 11, 2023

Who are the top young talents coming through at Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs? Mazola Molefe reveals his top five picks.

The Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy has come a long way since it was rocked by an age-cheating scandal and abruptly forced to shut down.

In 2010, the club confirmed closing down the programme temporarily after discovering the majority of players thought to still be in their early teens were using fake ID just to get a foot in.

Amakhosi have made great strides since, producing a large pool of players who could well be the stars of tomorrow at Naturena. Here are our top five.


Age: 19

The young forward is currently enjoying a breakthrough season in the top flight following his promotion from the reserve league by coach Arthur Zwane.

What works to his advantage is that the Chiefs senior- team head coach knows Shabalala well from his own stint in the academy before he was elevated and took over from Stuart Baxter a year ago.

Shabalala also went for trials in Spain and Belgium last year, but Amakhosi opted against loaning him or selling him outright at the time. He still has time on his side.


Age: 18

If talk in the football fraternity is anything to go by, then Wandile Duba is a goal machine in the making, and is just waiting for the right opportunity.

With Chiefs winning the Diski Shield trophy for their reserve side, Duba was the team’s top scorer and later got a call up to the national Under-20 side for the Cosafa Cup assignment in Eswatini, where he scored twice.

Not too long after returning home from representing his country, Duba was promoted by Zwane too, making his debut in the 2–0 win over Lamontville Golden Arrows on New Year’s Eve.


Age: 21

He is the son of ex-Orlando Pirates star Eugene, and when Njabulo Blom left Chiefs to join USA outfit St. Louis City in Major League Soccer, it was the young Zwane who stepped up to fill the void.

The holding midfielder was also part of David Notoane’s Under-23 squad during the back-to-back Olympic Games qualifiers against Togo in October, raising his hand for future call-ups in a team that was without the more established junior internationals.


Age: 20
The lanky goalkeeper continues to be in the shadow of his idol Itumeleng Khune, and two others in Brandon Peterson and Bruce Bvuma.

But Chiefs have pinned down Molefe to a new long-term contract, which suggests the hierarchy still see him as a future star despite him not having registered a first-team appearance following his promotion to the senior side in 2019.

Molefe has already featured for SA at junior levels with the Under-17, -20 and -23 teams, but his lack of game time could force Chiefs to loan him out next season to give him a taste of Premiership action.


Age: 18

Chiefs snapped up this sensation at the Philly’s Games in Tembisa last year, apparently beating rivals Mamelodi Sundowns to his signature.

Vilakazi evidently still needs a lot of coaching to be able to play for the team instead of pleasing the crowd with his tricks and fancy footwork.

But there’s no doubt he is one of the club’s future prospects.