Philemon Masinga or ‘Chippa’ as he is affectionately known by thousands of soccer lovers was born on 28 June 1969 in Stilfontein, (North-West Province). From a young age he showed the skills of a good soccer player. So great was his talent that as a junior in primary school he was selected to play for the senior high school team.
At the age of 17 Masinga left his hometown to join Jomo Midas Cosmos, a professional team based in Johannesburg. In 1992 Masinga represented South Africa in the first international game against Cameroon in Durban. The Pretoria team Mamelodi Sundowns bought him from Cosmos and he played for them for years before leaving the country.
Leeds United attracted Masinga to England and for two years he was involved in 39 games for Leeds. “Waltzin’ Masinga” as Leeds fans nicknamed him, was sold to the Swiss team Saint Gallen in 1996. In October that year he was signed by the Italian Serie B team, Salernitana. Here Masinga was a prolific goal scorer and good team player, and before long he joined Bari, a Series A team.
In 1996 Masinga was in the Bafana Bafana side (South African National Soccer Team) when it won the African Cup of Nations Final. He had also been in the South African team that finished second to Egypt in the 1998 African Cup of Nations held in Burkina Faso. ‘Chippa’ scored the goal in the 1997 game against Congo that proved decisive as it took Bafana Bafana to the 1998 World Cup in France.
He studied Sports Management at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and graduated in 2015. Masinga’s career highlights include:
- Three Presidential Awards by Presidents FD de Klerk, NH Mandela and T Mbeki.
- Meeting the late Pope John Paul
- Winning the 1996 AFCON Championships
- Playing in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France
- Journalist Award for Best Player in Bari
Presently, he serves as the vice president of the South African Masters and Legends Football Association. He continues to contribute to the development of South African football through various collaborations with leading corporates such as South African Breweries, McDonalds, etc. South African soccer fans are faithful to him and he has a considerable following, being widely regarded as one of the best South African strikers of all time.