Approaching the twilight years of a glittering career, 33-year-old Joel Otlogetswe Mogorosi is one of the most recognisable footballers in the country.
The Kanye-born midfield maestro, whose silky skills belie his lanky muscular frame, is a natural leader, captaining the national team to some of its most famous victories.
Synonymous with the shirt ‘17’, the man nicknamed ‘Juluka’ spent a combined total of six years playing in Cyprus and South Africa, stints sandwiched in between dominating the local league with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers.
Q. How did you become interested in football?
A. Like any other kid, I started playing with plastic balls from the streets – that’s where the love of football started.
Q. Which sports icon influenced you the most?
A. I was influenced by the Orapa United coach, Daniel Nare.
He told me how good I was and that I should take up football as a career.
Q. Do you have a favourite professional football team?
A. I support the gunners of London, Arsenal.
Q. Do you follow a certain diet while you are training or during the soccer season?
A. Yes, I choose what I eat because of many reasons but mostly I have to be in very good shape all the time.
Q. You have been playing for over 14 years now – what has been your proudest moment on the field?
A. It’s difficult to choose because I have done a lot of great things in my career.
My best moment was playing outside the country with the best players in the best leagues, Cyprus, South Africa and representing my country and also being voted the best Telkom player of the tournament (Telkom Knockout 2012/13).
Q. Off the field, how do you spend your free time?
A. If am not playing football, it’s either I’m with my wife, kids and friends or I go to the farm.
Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring soccer teens who wish to play the sport professionally?
A. I can tell them that hard work pays and is the key to success.
Discipline and dedication are two of the best traits in a person; they can never go wrong with these.
Q. How do you balance family and your career?
A. It’s very difficult because in football we travel a lot.
I can only say I am one of the luckiest men because I married a very sweet woman who really understands my job well.
I always make sure that I give her attention every little chance I get.
Q. Five things people don’t know about you?
- I don’t know how to be loud
- I love Setswana food
- I love dogs with all my heart
- I have never known the meaning of a father till I became one
- I don’t know anything about fashion even if I can buy expensive clothing