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How Percy Tau changed his mother's life

31 May 2018 - 13:51 By Tiisetso Malepa
Footballer of the Season Percy Tau pose for a picture with his mother Elizabeth Tau during the Premier Soccer League 2017/2018 Awards evening at Sandton Convention Centre on May 29, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Footballer of the Season Percy Tau pose for a picture with his mother Elizabeth Tau during the Premier Soccer League 2017/2018 Awards evening at Sandton Convention Centre on May 29, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The mother of South Africa’s Footballer of the Year Percy Tau has opened up about how her life and that of her family has changed for the better since the star had his breakthrough at Mamelodi Sundowns.

A teary Elizabeth Tau‚ a 57-year-old mother of eight‚ beamed with pride and shed tears of joy at the PSL’s awards ceremony in Sandton this week where her son Percy was crowned the country’s football king and walked away with a staggering R462‚500 in prize money.

“I feel very happy and nervous at the same time because I wasn’t expecting Percy to be where he is today so soon‚” said Elizabeth about her son’s rapid rise to stardom since making his debut for the Brazilians in February 2014.

“When I was hearing his name being called onto the stage (to receive awards) I felt very happy. If only you could open me inside you could see how happy I am. I have no words to describe this feeling.

“Even now when I’m talking to you about it as you can see my eyes are teary because I’m so happy.”

Tau was the star of the night at the awards gala dinner on Tuesday as he walked away with main prize – the Footballer of the Season – including the Players Player of the Season.

He also shared the joint top scorer award with Polokwane City striker Rodney Ramagalela.

Raising her eight children as a single parent in the coal mining town of Witbank in Mpumalanga‚ Elizabeth never thought in her wildest dreams that she could one day live in a big house that she calls her own.

“Yes it is true that I raised him (and his siblings) as a single parent. I have eight children.

"I raised all of them with my hard work as a single parent since 1998 until now I have been staying with them‚” said Elizabeth.

But all that changed when her son made his professional debut with Mamelodi Sundowns in February 2014.

“It was difficult I won’t lie to you. But things changed for the better in 2014 and it was him Percy who changed everything‚” said Elizabeth.

“He changed our lives for the better and even now I still can’t believe it is me. I can’t believe it.

“I wake up every morning and sweep the yard and sometimes I just pause and look at my house (the one Percy built for us) and I cry on my own.

“Percy changed our lives. I remember when I first held R40‚000 in my own hands it was Percy’s money. It was because of Percy. I remember it was money he made here at Sundowns.

“That’s when I saw that indeed God is great. From thereon that’s when things started to change for our family.

Elizabeth admits that she was initially against Percy playing football.

But Percy would hear none of it‚ so much so that he cried tears every time his mom didn’t him want to go play football.

“At first I didn’t want him to play football. I didn’t like the fact that the boys often came back home after sunset from their football‚” she said.

Percy’s older brother Dumisani is also a professional footballer who plays for home town club Witbank Spurs in the National First Division.

“All I wanted was for them to be at home in the afternoon to do the house chores and cook so that I can find the meals ready when I came back from work.

“But Percy used to cry all the time whenever I didn’t want him to go play football. He would literally cry in tears.”

Tau’s impressive season for both club and country attracted interest from English Premier League‚ French League 1‚ Bundeslinga and Serie A clubs and his Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has already admitted the dribbling wizard may be lost to the South African champions.

He has the blessings of his proud mother.

“You know Percy will always tell me when he is home that he wants to go and play overseas and I have always been against that idea because my son was quite still young.

“But right now he has all my blessings. Even if he goes overseas I will pray to God that he provides him with guidance and protection wherever he goes.

“He has my blessings to go abroad. I want to fly overseas to go and watch him play one day.”

Percy says his preferred choice in the top five European leagues is the La Liga in Spain.