Meeting soccer star Benni – all in a day’s work

Lindy Tsele poses with soccer superstar Benni McCarthy. Photo courtesy of Shaun Bentham

I took Benni McCarthy and his family in the cable car up to the Table Mountain Cafe, and in those short 10 minutes I got to know him as a really cool guy.

Benni McCarthy is a great son of Cape Town. As a youngster, growing up in Hanover Park, he honed his soccer skills, played for Ajax and went on to play for national side Bafana Bafana. He left home to further his career, playing for Portuguese club FC Porto and English teams Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United.

He returned home two years ago and was signed by Orlando Pirates. He remains a soccer superstar.

McCarthy and his family recently visited the New7Wonder of Nature. He was overwhelmed by my friendly colleagues, who went out of their way to help him. He couldn’t thank us enough.

This is how we want all our visitors to feel after experiencing our beautiful mountain.

I am inspired to be able to go up and down Table Mountain eight to 10 times a day, and get to experience Cape Town’s most beautiful views. And no, it never, ever looks the same.

My passion is people, and to be able to meet so many different people from so many different countries and cultures is awesome.

There have been many celebrities who have visited Table Mountain over the years, we generally leave them alone to enjoy the peace and tranquility. But sometimes we get to take pictures of them and chat to them.

Meeting McCarthy was a highlight for me. My entire perception of him changed in the 10 minutes I got to spend with him. I found him to be interesting and a really cool guy. Nothing at all like the personality the media has created; they have dented and tarnished his image.

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