Jethro Mohlala or is it Lovers Mohlala is a South African former footballer who played professionally as a left back. More on his first name drama later. Lovers played in South Africa, abroad in Greece as well for South African national team.
Lovers was born on the 26th April 1975 in Alexandra. He started his senior career at Wits University in 1992 to 1997.
When it comes to his name and ID drama. In the early stages of his football career while still at Wits University FC the versatile left back Mohlala was known as Jethro, but later on reports surfaced that he was using someone else’s name.
Mohlala spoke to KickOff.com about the name issue and said “Remember there was a story that I stole somebody’s ID? There was a court case. I was taken to court. You see it’s good that I need to give somebody an opportunity to write about something that was speculation.”
“I was from North West, all my stuff was in North West. When I started school they wouldn’t want a [birth] certificate. And when they made a tournament my certificate was nowhere to be found, and the process was long and my mother was working then.”
“To get the certificate your parent needed to accompany you. Without a parent you wouldn’t get a certificate. Eventually the discussion between my family and my cousin, I don’t know what took place, but I ended up using my cousin’s name.”
Yeah right he didn’t know what was going on. He went to say “There was a time I was with the national team somewhere and eventually I didn’t go because I was forced to take the passport in his name. Now what I did is that I had to get my own certificate… you know when you play in those leagues people will ask you, ‘But you were this one, now you are this one?”
With regards to the name he used in the PSL he said “I was never registered as Jethro Mohlala at the PSL. I was [always] registered as Lovers. You can check with the PSL. Jethro was a cousin.”
During the court case where it was found that the age on Lovers ID was different from Jethro’s ID. So this whole soccer player’s using different ages on their ID documents isn’t so far-fetched. In the same interview Lovers does say that he wasn’t the only one who was doing this.
Either way the court eventually threw out the case.
Joining Mamelodi Sundows
Lovers went on to join Mamelodi Sundows in 1997 however he has revealed that he was on his way to join Kaizer Chiefs. He said the following about his move to Sundows “While I was on my way to Kaizer Chiefs, Sundowns called me and I went to Sundowns. My heart was not with Chiefs. Wits wanted R300 000 for me.”
His salary at Sundows was reported to be R12 000 from the R5 000 he was previously receiving at Wits.
He was part of the all-conquering Sundows team that won 3 Castle Premiership titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000. So his decision to join Sundows definitely payed off.
His off the field decisions though seemed to not be as wise. He was reported to have been living a flashy footballer’s lifestyle complete with showy BMW’s and questionable behaviour. He was also in the news for all the wrong reasons as well during that time.
Lovers said “There was a time I was late for camping at Sundowns and I claimed I was kidnapped. I took a gun and shot my takkie, claiming I was shot by the kidnappers.”
In 2003 following a failed move to F.C Copenhagen, Lovers forced a move from Sundows to AmaZulu. Though shortly after, he re-signed to Wits University. Then he moved to Jomo Cosmos.
In January 2004 Lovers signed with Greece Superleague side Aris Thessaloniki. He only made just two league appearances for the club before returning to South Africa 6 months later.
He then played for Jomo Cosmos in 2004 to 2005.
- Silver Stars in 2005 to 2006.
- Moroka Swallows in 2006 to 2007.
- AmaZulu in 2007 to 2008.
- Black Leopards in 2008 to 2009.
Lovers would retire in 2009.
Lovers Mohlala represented South Africa from under 17 to Under 23. He went on to make 9 appearances for the Bafana Bafana senior team. His debut was in 1999 COSAFA Cup match against Botswana.
What Happened To Lover Mohlala
After living a perceived flashy footballer’s lifestyle and changing women Lovers recently spoke about how he went broke after football. He said the following “I went broke my chief after football, I went broke. I didn’t have anything… I didn’t have a car. I got broke after three months.”
In 2014 reports linked Lovers Mohlala with a job at Chloorkop. He was expected to return to his former club as one of their scouts.
Lovers Mohlala was also involved with the South African Football Players Union.
These days Lovers says he has turned his life around and is a cattle farmer who owns a soccer academy.
He said the following about his latest ventures “The soccer academy is supported by Glencore mine. I do motivations, even though people don’t want to pay me. I have done it with Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic and Sundowns.”
“Sundowns have committed themselves to actually assess my players anytime whenever I see a good player. There’s a guy by the name of Sithembiso Ntshangase. I met him in 1993 and he’s making things happen for me.”
“You see sometimes in life we should tell these players. Former teams should call us to speak with these kids before they sign them for the PSL, to tell them what are the challenges of playing in the PSL or being in the limelight. Tell them how we spent our money, and what we have now.”
Lovers has been a very outspoken figure in soccer. He has spoken out about PSL clubs treatment of retired players. He said “Retired SA players have to beg for match tickets. We are being treated like we did not contribute and play a role. Look at my FaceBook profile, I am not happy. If you look overseas, players like Didier Drogba, are still getting important seats in the VIP section. They’re still recognized and respected. But here in South Africa you find Soapie stars and Slay Queens in the VIP section. Those people did not play football.”
Lovers didn’t throw his former club Sundows under the bus and said “I am going to be honest, Sundowns are still giving me nice tickets when I ask, but what about other players? What about Bafana Bafana matches? I played for the SA Under-23s and the senior national team. But you find TV stars and actors in the VIP suits. Why can’t we be like England and honour former players because we always see former players being treated nicely. The other day a club owner walked into the VIP suit and he did not even greet me. I felt very bad like I did not belong there.”
We definitely wish the legendary Sundows left back all the best in his future endeavours.