Bvuma lauds Chiefs’ legendary ‘Spider-Kid’ Khune

BRUCE Bvuma of Kaizer Chiefs warming up with his idol, Itumeleng Khune, who celebrates 25 years in top-flight football. | BackpagePix

BRUCE Bvuma of Kaizer Chiefs warming up with his idol, Itumeleng Khune, who celebrates 25 years in top-flight football. | BackpagePix

Published May 18, 2024


ITUMELENG Khune might be deep into the twilight of his career, with many no doubt of the view he probably should pack up his gloves at the end of this season, but even as a peripheral member of Kaizer Chiefs he continues to inspire.

This much was confirmed this week when an unlikely source lavished high praise on the superstar goalkeeper, who celebrates a quarter of a century in the pro ranks.

Bruce Bvuma might be working hard at being Khune’s replacement as Amakhosi’s top goalkeeper, but he is in no doubt as to the status of the man, describing it as “a blessing” to be working with the self-proclaimed “Mzani’s Number One”.

“Itu is a legend of the team. It is always nice to have him with us, whether be it going to games, or chilling with him, or training with him. For me it’s a blessing to work with a guy like him. People like Itu only come once in a while.”

Named in Hugo Broos’ preliminary squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Nigeria next month, Bvuma is hopeful he will make the final and dreams of going on to emulate Khune by turning out for the country. He knows, though, that it is through his performances for Chiefs that he will realise that goal. He is thus thankful to have served his apprenticeship under the revered goalkeeper, referred to in some quarters as “Spider-Kid Khune”.

“What Itu has done for the team and the country is massive, and for me I am grateful that he was there with me when we played. Itu taught me a lot. Coming from the development, he told me that ‘I was in your situation before, training with the senior team’. When I did not have a contract he told me to hang on and sometimes when I did not have money to come to training Itu was there for me.”

Like most goalkeepers of his generation, Bvuma grew up admiring Khune.

“I believe each and every goalkeeper looked up to Itumeleng Khune. He played a big role in terms of many goalkeepers wanting to make it to the pro side and I am also one of them.”

Bvuma says he learnt a lot from his predecessor in the Amakhosi goals.

“(When he retires) we will definitely miss his personality and his willingness to work hard. Itu is a hard worker. He still does extra work even now. He told me that if you want to be better than others, you need to work more. He taught me those words and obviously that’s why he managed to be where he is today, a legend of the game.”

Bvuma still has a long way to go to earn legendary status at Chiefs for starters.

And one step towards that would be for him to start for Amakhosi in their last two matches of the season – starting with Saturday’s battle for the top-eight spot against Polokwane City at the FNB Stadium.

Tied on 35 points, the two teams are in eighth and ninth position respectively, and Bvuma insists that they have to send City back to Limpopo empty-handed.

“it is not going to be easy. This is a six-pointer game. We know the importance of this game and we have to perform and hopefully get the required results. They are right behind us, so if we win this game it’s minus one problem, we put ourselves in a position of maintaining the top-eight position.”

Achieve that and Bvuma could well maintain his position in the goals and keep Itumeleng Khune on the bench for the final match of the season. And who knows, perhaps be the one who sends Mzansi’s Number One out to pasture for good at the end of the season.