Ramagalela Sundowns

Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City striker Rodney Ramagalela. File Photo
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

‘My daughter died in a fire, the same year I lost my mom’ – Ex-Sundowns striker

Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City striker Rodney Ramagalela opened up about his losing his family and daughter.

Ramagalela Sundowns

Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City striker Rodney Ramagalela. File Photo
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards striker Rodney Ramagalela has opened up about losing his daughter, family and house.

The 35-year-old has been clubless for a season since leaving the University of Pretoria last year. He has an impressive record in the DStv Premiership where he scored 49 goals in 197 games.

Speaking to Andile Ncube on Sports Night Amplified, the former Sundowns striker opened up about his trauma and mental issues.

Ramagalela’s goalscoring exploits at Leopards saw Masandawana pay big money for the former SA/23 player. He failed to impress with the Tshwane outfit and was later released. The Limpopo-born striker rediscovered his touch when he joined Polokwane City in 2016. After scoring 23 goals in 73 matches, Ramagalela joined Highlands Park.

That same year, the former Sundowns striker lost his mother and daughter. Two years later, Ramagalela’s house was gutted by a fire in his home village Mamvuka.

“Before that, my mom passed on in 2019 and that’s the same year my daughter passed on also. She was burned by fire, I was told,” said the former Mamelodi Sundowns striker.

“I don’t know what happened, but I was told after she passed on. You can tell that there were so many things going on but as a human being, I didn’t see it because I didn’t understand what was going on.”

While still trying to recover, Ramagalela had an injury(playing for Highlands) and had to undergo surgery in 2020.

Former Sundowns striker struggling to cope after series of bad luck

“I didn’t have time to go to a psychologist because I didn’t understand what was going on. While I was trying to get better from this one, the other one is coming, so I have to deal with the other one. When I’m trying to deal with this particular one, the other one is coming again. So you can tell how difficult that is Andile,” the striker added.

When asked if he had retired from football, the 2018 Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot winner was unsure.

“I will be very honest with you Andile, when that fire thing happened to me, it was not only about the house, it was someone’s life that was burning in that house. That’s why I’m saying if things were different, I would have loved to go out nicely,” the former Sundowns striker said.

“The house thing was a terrible thing to have happened to me as a person. It was not about something that was inside the house, it was the life that was burned.”

Last year, Ramagalela touched on the issue of mental health especially among footballers.

[Mental Health] is a disease that needs to be sorted out immediately. The pressure itself of playing football is too much and there are so many expectations,” he told FARPost last year.

RamaG opens up about his house that burnt down

“People are fighting for contracts, you also need to achieve something as an individual. But if you are going through that [mental disorder] you need to deal with off the field. That disrupts the performances of the player,” the ex-Sundowns striker added.

“[Mental issues] do exist in football. it’s just that with our pride as football players we can’t come out and seek help. In our industry, there should be an organised facility where players can get help from.”