Kaizer Chiefs winger Happy Mashiane has admitted there's pressure on his shoulders not to disappoint as a professional.
Born in Tembisa, Mashiane recalled how hard he had to work to be at Amakhosi after starting out at the Future Through Football academy (FTF) in 2014.
The 22-year-old spent just six months at the FTF academy before joining the Chiefs development side in June 2014 after undergoing a successful trial.
"I knew that the East Rand produced some of the finest footballers and that encouraged me. I did not endure a difficult upbringing, but in terms of my football career, it was not an easy path to get to the professional level," Mashiane told the Amakhosi website.
"I was fortunate to grow up under a good mentor like Ghino Johnson. Ghino always told me that I have the potential to make it in the professional ranks. He always pushed me to work hard.
"Ghino started a development team called Future Through Football which I played for. The team was based in Sandton. It was not easy, but he organised transport for us to travel to and from training. We had a great time with Ghino at FTF.
"After playing for under Ghino’s guidance for a few months, we then had an opportunity to play against Kaizer Chiefs U-17 in the league. I impressed during the game and got invited to Kaizer Chiefs youth academy for trials.
"As the saying goes, the rest is history. Here I am; a Glamour Boy today."
Mashiane added that his life changed for the better after being promoted to the first team in January 2019, more so because his mother is running a daycare centre while his father, who lost his job not so long ago, is doing plumbing work.
"Since gaining promotion to the first team, my life changed for the better but I still face challenges though, especially in this era that is dominated by social media," he continued.
"We all know social media can make or break you. So, being a role model to the younger ones comes with pressure because whatever you do, they try to emulate."
The South Africa youth international also paid tribute to Amakhosi legends such as Ryder Mofokeng, Ace Khuse and Arthur Zwane for the roles they played in him becoming the player he is today, and he is proud to be part of one of South Africa's biggest clubs.
"We had great mentors in the Academy. Legends such as Ryder Mofokeng, Ace Khuse and Arthur Zwane have been in the game for long and they played a huge role in our upbringing. They taught us a lot and I will always remember their advice," he added.
"I am proud to say the least. It is a great honour to play for Kaizer Chiefs and represent my country."