The Namibian born striker Peter Shalulile has a strong following and a group of Zulu supporters have already coined a chant for the forward and it seems all that is now missing is for an imbongi (praise singer) to join the fray to lavish praise on the record-breaking striker.
Shalulile’s latest hat-trick to help Downs beat Golden Arrows 6-0 in a DStv Premiership match on Tuesday took his tally for the season to 21 in the league. He needs four more goals to equal the great Collins Mbesuma’s 17-year-old record of 25 league goals in a season.
Shalulile is also eight goals away from breaking another “Ntofo-Ntofo” record: a 35-goal return in all competitions, recorded in the 2004/5 season when he played for Kaizer Chiefs.
In the absence of a praise singer, at least for now, Shalulile’s coach Manqoba Mngqithi – who has never been shy to laud Shalulile – continued to describe him as the ultimate football professional, following his three goals on Tuesday.
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“The gods of football look at how much you put into football, your level of professionalism,” said Mngqithi.
“Peter works very hard. While some will say he is lucky, that he is able to score with one touch or a little header here and there, but when opportunity meets hard work, luck comes your way,” said Mngqithi.
The Downs mentor added that while the 27-year-old may not be the flashiest player with the most attractive style, such as Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino or Bradley Ralani, he has that rare ability to find the back of the net “for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
The win on Tuesday was Downs’ 17th out of 25 games this season, which cemented their place at the top off the PSL standings with 57 points. Second are Royal AM with 43. Downs need to win just two of their remaining five games to make it five league titles in a row.
“Peter is one of the most professional boys, maybe he is not the most talented of players but he puts his heart and soul into the game and that is why he is so good,” said Mngqithi.
“Peter is that guy who may not play very good football but he will score many goals. If you want someone to dribble, Peter might not be the guy to do that, but if you want someone to put the ball in the net, then Peter is definitely the one for that. He has been doing that even before he arrived at Sundowns.”