Grant Kekana has enjoyed a successful start to his career with Mamelodi Sundowns, having recently made the switch from SuperSport United to join The Brazilians. Kekana has featured in the last five starting lineups and has played as both a centre back and a full back, helping the team keep four clean sheets in the process.
The Masandawana faithful have taken kindly to the defender known as ‘Zeda’, who used to belong to cross-town rivals & Coach Rulani Mokwena has praised the experienced defender for his work ethic and commitment to the team during the early stages of his Sundowns career: “When you look at Grant’s educational background and his upbringing, you can see how he carries himself in the changing room and how he goes about trying to get the best from his teammates. In relation to his performance, he is not a selfish person. He is extremely selfless, and works extremely hard for the team.”
In the early stages of the season, Kekana has formed a solid partnership with fellow defender Rushine De Rueck and ‘Zeda’ spoke about what he is enjoying most about settling into his new role: “The integration with Rushine De Reuck has been good, we’ve worked a whole lot – especially during the pre-season and also during training sessions. What I enjoy the most about the position that I am playing and the role that I’ve been given is the fact that I am able to also show my leadership skills. I am able to read the game and start the attack from the back which is something that’s a bit new to me but definitely something that I am enjoying.” said Kekana.
“We are all just getting to jell now together, obviously everyone else has been here longer than me but they’ve made me feel like I’ve always been a part of them which is good. We all know our roles and what’s expected of us, so whoever gets the opportunity to play will always grab it with both hands.”
Grant registered his first goal in Mamelodi Sundowns colours in the 2-0 win against Kaizer Chiefs and credited his goal to the work done in training: “During the week leading up to the game, Lyle [Lakay] and I spoke. In the previous game he was playing [balls] on to the near post and I said to him, ‘play one at the back post, you never know what can happen’ and fortunately I connected.”
Kekana expressed his gratitude to his teammates, “It feels good to have your first goal for your new club. This is a big club and we knew what the game meant and to be on the scoresheet is a bonus. I was still in disbelief, I didn’t have a celebration but credit to the guys for welcoming me well, and we just keep moving forward from here. We all want to contribute as players, it can’t just be the attackers who score. If we can, as defenders when we go up there for corner kicks and free kicks we need to take advantage and this is just a step in the right direction.”
Zeda also shared some insight on the characters the team has in the dressing room and how they have helped him settle in quickly: “My relationship with my new teammates is good, everyone has welcomed me well. We have jokers in the team, I’ll give that one to Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene and Brian Onyango, before training they always get us in a good mood with a good laugh, that helps us to forget whatever problems we might be having. I’ve [also] been fortunate enough to have played with Kermit [Erasmus], Reayad [Pieterse], George [Maluleka] and Aubrey [Modiba] before.”
With a few players sidelined through injury, Grant has already been able to show his versatility, deputising at right back in the last two matches. Kekana made his ambitions clear closed by sharing his hopes and aspirations for his debut season with Bafana Ba Style: “My personal goal this season with Masandawana is to challenge for everything, give my all whenever given the opportunity to play and just keep pushing and reaching for the sky because The Sky is The Limit.”