Q: Orlando Pirates are going through some tough times in 2014 but results in December, including a 4-0 thrashing of Ajax Cape Town, were very positive – does this mark a turning point for the team and can you still mount a challenge for the league title?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: Our recent performances and results have been encouraging and it’s something that we can build on. Every team goes through a rough patch, we have had our turn, hopefully we can kick on from here and mount a challenge for a league title and other remaining competitions this season.
You have hit top form in terms of goal scoring – has something changed in the team dynamic or is there some other reason for your return to form?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: As a striker it always feels good when you score goals, I am no different. My goal scoring form is a culmination of the hard work I have put since I arrived here. As you know, I was not playing competitive football for a while last year and was only doing individual training. I had to double up my efforts and make up for lost time and I am happy with progress so far. Orlando Pirates is fortunate to have strikers who can do the job when called upon, so when it’s my turn, I always ensure I do my best.
You’ve just missed out on a spot in the Bafana Bafana squad for Afcon 2015, but do you think the team will do the nation proud at the upcoming tournament?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: As a player, playing for your country is a great honour and is a reward for all the hard work you have put in, so yes I am disappointed to miss out. I have no doubt however that the team that has been selected will do the country proud. I will continue to work hard and when my chance comes again, I will grab it with both hands.
Which teams will provide the biggest challenge and which players do you expect to star at Afcon?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: Besides South Africa, I think the host country will be a tough team to beat at home. They will not want to disappoint their legions of fans on home soil, so I see them causing problems for any team facing them.
On players, I expect South Africa’s Thuso Phala to star in the tournament. He has been one of the most consistent players in our league for many seasons. Another player to look out for is Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba, he is the shining light in that talented team.
You have just signed a deal with PUMA – what factors encouraged you to make the move?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: PUMA has upped the stakes in the past few years and everyone has noticed the great changes. For a player like myself, who has had a fair share of tough moments in the last year or so, there is no better way to announce my second coming than to join forces with a brand that has similar ambition and drive like me. I love the direction that PUMA has been on this past few years and I wanted to be a part of that.
Which boots will you wear and what are your thoughts on their look and feel?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: I will wear evoPOWER. We all remember early last year when the boot launched with all the global superstars like Fabregas, Reus and my favourite Balloteli, evoPOWER took football boot technology to the next level. I have only just started training with them and they are lighter than they look and I can’t wait to spot them in an official match in the next few weeks.
What do you enjoy about playing for Orlando Pirates?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: Orlando Pirates is a big happy family, a family that will praise you when you doing well and support you when things are not going well. Players here have a rare quality that you don’t find often in football, honesty. I am very proud to call them teammates and there is no doubt we will achieve a lot together in the future.
Do you have dreams of playing overseas – if so for which teams in which leagues?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: It’s every players dream to play overseas and I am no different. I have no particular preference which country I go to but it has to be country that has a football level that is higher than South Africa.
What is the attraction, besides money, on making the move overseas and how would it benefit you as a player?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: When you play overseas in a league that has great players, it will naturally improve your standard as a player. Football is a competitive sport and we all strive to be better than we were yesterday and take our craft to the next level, the monetary rewards are secondary.
Your advice to teenage boys out there thinking of becoming a proffessional footballer – choosing an agent, dealing with fame, investing your money etc?
Lehlohonolo Majoro: I would advise youngsters to choose an agent that has their best interest at heart, a person who will also support you at your lowest point. On fame, they should not let their name or their fame precede them, always stay focussed on what got you that fame in the first place, your work. On investing money, I would advise them to look for business opportunities while they still playing football, it will help them to put their hard earned money into useful things and by the time they retire, their businesses would be up and running.
Lastly, they should exercise patience. I only started playing at the highest level at the very late age of 24, I have made my mark in a very short space of time, they can do the same.