Shakes Mashaba

Shakes Mashaba, born Ephraim Mashaba, is the South African former football player and  football coach. In recent years, Shakes Mashaba coached a number of South African National Mens Football Teams, most notably, the under 23s which he successfully led to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games qualification.

Born Ephraim Mashaba
August 6, 1950
Soweto, Gauteng
South Africa
Occupation Football Coach
Former Football Player
Nationality South African
Current Team South Africa
2014 – to date
As Coach Since 1992 – to date

Shakes Mashaba was born Ephraim Mashaba in Soweto, Johannesburg, Transvaal Province of the Union of South Africa – today’s Gauteng province of the Republic of South Africa.

As a player, he played for Moroka Swallows – one of the Soweto giants at the time.

Shakes Mashaba, although unclear where he played first, also played for one of South Africa’s football powerhouses – Orlando Pirates.

He also played for the lesser known teams such as Swaraj FC and Preston Brother.

In 1992 Shakes Mashaba began his coaching career at Vaal Reef Stars.

In June 1992 he had his first brief spell as the coach of the newly former national side, South African Mens Senior National Team – nicknamed Bafana Bafana.

Shakes Mashaba was brought in to replace Bafana Bafana’s very first coach, Stanley Tshabalala, and just four months later in October 1992 his spell came to an abrupt end.

His first spell as Bafana Bafana coach has sometimes been reported as being caretaker position.

In 1997 Shakes Mashaba returned to the employ of South African Football Association (SAFA) when he became head coach of South African Under 20 Mens National Team (Amajita).

In 1998 he began his first spell as South African Under 23 Mens National Team (Amaglug-glug). Shakes Mashaba embarked on his first most successful national team coaching period, a year later, in the 1999 All-Africa Games held in South Africa he led Amaglug-glug to a third place finish.

Shakes Mashaba also led Amaglug-glug to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. This was the first time that a South African National team achieved this – by 2014, when he became Bafana Bafana coach, this had only been matched by South African Womens Senior National Team (Banyana Banyana) when they qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

In 2001 while coach of the Under 23s, Shakes Mashaba was brought in as caretaker coach of Bafana Bafana in the absence of then head coach Portuguese international Carlos Queiroz.

In 2002 Shakes Mashaba began his third spell at the helm of Bafana Bafana, this was the most tumultuous period of the relationship between SAFA and Shakes Mashaba. He often took a hard-line stance on things he did not agree with and SAFA often moved to overrule him.

In May 2003 he was temporarily replaced with Jomo Sono for an international friendly against England after questioned Lucas Radebe’s commitment to the national side.

He would lead Bafana Bafana in a successful 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Qualification campaign.  The 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations was held in Tunisia.

In January 2004 Shakes Mashaba was suspended for seven days following a meeting with SAFA bosses – the meeting was relating to the harsh criticism he had come under after he left out certain players in his squad that was going to travel to Tunisia for the Afcon of that year.

His suspension meant he could not travel with Bafana Bafana to Mauritius for the Cosafa Cup, he was replaced by then assistant – now late April “Styles” Phumo.

SAFA reportedly threatened him that he would lose his job if he does not call up the likes of Quinton Fortune for the 2004 Afcon, furthermore, it was his failure to accommodate the requests of Mark Fish and Benni McCarthy to remain with their European sides until before the tournament – which effectively forced them to pull out of the team completely.

His suspension was overturned by Judge Sunita Snyders at Johannesburg High Court.

However, Shakes Mashaba never returned from suspension, he was fired from his post as head coach of Bafana Bafana one day before the start of the 2004 Afcon in Tunisia. April “Styles” Phumo was installed as caretaker coach and traveled to Tunisia with Bafana Bafana as head coach.

He took SAFA to court in an bid to get reinstated ahead but later abandoned his campaign saying his attorneys had reached agreement with SAFA on a settlement.

In February 2004 Shakes Mashaba joined the Premier Soccer League side Black Leopards who were facing relegation towards the end of the 2003/04 season, he successfully help the club avoid relegation. In July 2004 he returned to the club for the 2004/05 season but did not see it through, his relationship with the Thidiela family reached an all time low and he was shown the door.

During Owen Da Gama’s tenure as Orlando Pirates head coach. Shakes Mashaba was a team manager – unlike the European definition of the ‘manager’, in South Africa what would be referred to as a ‘manager’ in Europe – is referred to as  ‘head coach’. So at Orlando Pirates Shakes Mashaba’s work would have been more administrative rather than involvement on the football pitch or coaching.

In May 2008 Shakes Mashaba replaced Raoul Savoy as head coach of Swaziland Senior Mens National Team (Sihlangu Semnikati).

In June 2010 after two years at the helm, Shakes Mashaba and the National Football Association of Swaziland (NFAS) reportedly had a dispute over pay and this prompted him to leave the post.

In 2010 he returned to South Africa and to the employ of the South African Football Association (SAFA) for the first time since the 2004 fallout. Prior to that fallout, Shakes Mashaba had been employed by SAFA since 1993.

He returned to his old post as coach of Amaglug-glug and in 2012 he became coach of South African Under 17 Mens National Team.

In 2014 Shakes Mashaba reportedly beat Portuguese international Carlos Queiroz and Nigerian Senior Mens National Team coach Stephen Keshi to become head coach of Bafana Bafana and Gordon Igesund‘s replacement who’s contract was not renewed.

On August 22, 2014 he named his first Bafana Bafana that later faced and defeated Sudan 3-0 in Omdurman, Sudan on September 5, 2014 before returning to South Africa to face Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town and got held to a goalless draw.

Shakes Mashaba’s squad was perhaps reminiscent of his rebellious streak of the mid 2000s during first official appointment (third spell) as Bafana Bafana coach which resulted in his dismisal.

In the game against Nigeria he played two of South Africa’s most revered midfielders today – who have been sidelined in the national team since they broke into the scene – Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa who were part of an unstoppable Orlando Pirates squad that orchestrated two trebles in two consecutive seasons before leading the same team to a 2013 CAF Champions League final. Furthermore, the squad was diverse and feature players from teams that are considered small, among them Bongani Ndulula of AmaZulu, Sibusiso Vilakazi of BidVest Wits as well as Keagan Dolly of Ajax Cape Town.


Other Football Endeavours

Shakes Mashaba along with Bafana Bafana assistant coach (prior to both their appointments) have been involved in the Nedbank Ke Yona Team, a Nedbank/ Premier Soccer League initiative aimed at finding undiscovered talent from all over South Africa.

The football players discovered during this expedition are trained and filtered down to form what it called Ke Yona Team, that team faces the winners of the SA Cup (Nedbank Cup).

When Shakes Mashaba was appointed Bafana Bafana coach and when he later chose Owen Da Gama as Bafana Bafana assistant coach, the Ke Yona expedition was almost complete and two days after his first match against Sudan, the Ke Yona team played Nedbank Cup champions Orlando Pirates and lost 2-0. It is unclear whether or not they will remain part of the project in future.


Teams Coached

Year Team Administrator Notes
1992 Vaal Reef Stars fc Unknown – Club First Coaching Post
1992 South African Senior Mens National Team SAFA Caretaker Coach
1997 -1998 South African Under 20 Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach
1998 – 2002 South African Under 23 Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach
2001 South African Senior Mens National Team SAFA Caretaker Coach
2002 – 2004 South African Senior Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach
2004 – 2005 Black Leopards PSL – Club Head Coach
2008 – 2010 Swaziland Senior Mens National Team NFAS Head Coach
2010 – 2014 South African Under 17 Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach
2012 – 2014 South African Under 23 Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach
2014 – to date South African Senior Mens National Team SAFA Head Coach