Superfan Botha Msila stops attending PSL games as he's ‘drained mentally, health-wise’ from Cairo trip
Mad-cap Premier Soccer League (PSL) super-fan Botha Msila has said he is taking a year’s break from attending football matches.
Msila, known for hitch-hiking to multiple PSL matches around South Africa on a weekend, said in an interview with Robert Marawa on the host’s Marawa TV that his trip overland last year from South Africa to Egypt to watch the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations might have been a step too far.
In something of a shock announcement, given how South Africans have grown used to seeing Msila at PSL matches, the fan said he has stopped going to matches until 2021 because the trip to Egypt drained him “mentally, physically and health-wise”.
The No 1 Bloemfontein Celtic supporter, easily recognisable by his trademark white shower cap and green and white overalls, regularly leaves football TV hosts baffled at how he gets to many PSL matches on a weekend.
Having – bravely, or foolishly – left on the trip to Cairo without visas and documentation, Msila became stuck at the border from Kenya into Ethiopia, needing the kindness of strangers to be sustained financially and resolve the problem.
“I think everybody has seen, or some have heard about, the trip I took to Egypt. To be fair that trip drained me,” Msila admitted.
“I was thinking like there was no tomorrow on my trip when I encountered challenges. I was thinking like I had been tasked to think. So my thinking tank was working day and night.
“I didn’t get the time to sleep because I was thinking.
“When we stayed at the border to Ethiopia for three nights, I did not sleep for those three days because I was thinking each and every second, ‘Botha, are you going to stay here for six days, or six months, or are you going to go back to your country?’
“I was regretting [the trip].”
Msila undertook his trip with Zimbabwean travel companion and fellow football fan, Alvin Zhakata.
“We struggled a lot. To the extent that some guys were saying, ‘You might stay here for five, seven days’,” Msila said.
“[I was] counting [days] – I must pass Sudan, where there is a war. After Sudan, by then the tournament might be done.”
Msila admitted he had been naïve about the visa and financial issues, and the dangers of passing through war zones during such a trip.