Hardworking and tenacious are some of the adjectives that can accurately describe the Bafana Bafana football star, Bongani Zungu. Playing at the midfield position, he is notable for his box-box playing style that sees him simultaneously create chances for the forwarders and track-back to help the defense when necessary. Previously a player for the South African league’s Mamelodi Sundowns, he joined the French Ligue 1 club, Amiens in 2017.
Being a football star, the mercurial midfielder has become a subject of the public’s interest, especially football-loving fans, and perhaps the public nature of his relationship with his now ex-fiancee did little to help in this regard. He has become one of South Africa’s biggest football exports, plying his trade with the French Ligue 1 side, Amiens SC.
Bongani Zungu Began His Career in SA with Dynamos
Bongani Zungu was born on the 9th of October 1992 in Duduza, Gauteng, South Africa. His father was an ardent fan of South Africa’s club side Orlando Pirates and apparently, he passed on his football passion to his son who began playing at an early age. Zungu’s football journey began in 2010 when he was 18 years old. He began by joining Limpopo’s youth team, Dynamos, and would spend the next two years honing his skills.
His skills at Dynamos were good enough to attract the attention of AmaTuks Coach Steve Barker who offered him a spot to join the team which represents the University of Pretoria. At the time that Bongai Zungus joined AmaTuks, they were in their debut PSL season. With Zungus’ help, the team was able to finish in the top 8 in the league. His contributions to the team attracted eyes from bigger clubs and Bongai chose to play next for the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club on an exchange deal which saw Siyabonga Ngubane and Buhle Mkhwanazi go the other way.
Breakthrough at Sundowns
Bongani Zungu’s decision to join the Sundowns at the time was not an easy one as the club had at the time built a bad reputation for killing the career of youngsters. However, after much persuasion from coach Pitso, Zungu gave in to his advances and decided to join the club. Contrary to what many feared, Zungu’s career did not deteriorate but soared instead. He made a whopping 58 appearances for the team from 2013 to 2016 a period when they enjoyed huge success lifting a number of trophies including winning two PSL titles in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons; the Nedbank Cup in 2014-15, as well as the Telkom Knockout trophy in his final season – 2015-16.
With his profile was boosted by trophies, Bongani Zungu came under the radar of much bigger teams including some from Europe. Portuguese club side Vitória de Guimarães was the next to win his heart as he made a switch to the European side on the 20th of January 2016.
Bongani Zungu In Europe
Due to a hairline fracture that Zungu picked up in his last match while playing for his former team (Mamelodi Sundowns), his career at Guimarães did not kick off at a pace he’d hoped.
The injury which sidelined the player out of the rest of Sundowns’ Championship-winning season also saw him on the sidelines for the better half of the season with his new team. The team had signed him regardless of the injury which they perceived as minor compared to his quality and when he began earning playtime, he was sure to make the best of it. Zungu would later make just 19 appearances for the club. He was able to score a goal in his 19 appearances.
Towards the end of the season, Zungu inked a deal with yet another European team – the French Ligue 1 side, Amiens, joining the side in 2017. His salary at Amiens is an estimated €299,000. The midfielder has so far been capped 57 times across all competitions for the French side, scoring two goals. It is no secret however that the Bafana Bafana star would welcome a move away from the Ligue 1 side in order to play in the UEFA Champions League – with Spain being touted as his preferred destination.
Zungu came close to achieving this dream when he was almost snatched up by the La Liga club, RCD Mallorca in the 2020 January transfer window. The deal which was dependent on Amiens getting a suitable replacement for him hit the rocks when they failed to land Tottenham Hotspurs’ Victor Wanyama – despite Zungu having completed his medicals in Mallorca on transfer deadline day.
He was forced to return to France and continue with his club for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season. The former Mamelodi Sundowns still remains hopeful of achieving his dream of playing in Spain (and in the UCL) by the end of the season but much of that will be dependent on the willingness of his current club to cash in on him as he would have just one year left on his current contract by then.
He Began Well with the National Team But Has Been Snubbed By the Coaches
Bongani Zungu made his debut for the South African national team in 2013 in a match against Burkina Faso (South Africa won that match 2-0). Three months later, Zungu scored his first goal for South Africa – against Swaziland (the match ended in a 3-0 win to South Africa). As of October 2019, Zungu has made 27 appearances for the national side, scoring 4 goals.
The former Guimarães midfielder who played a key role in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where his team made it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to 2-1 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria was snubbed by the national team selectors for the 2021 AFCON qualifier against Sao Tome & Principe. And although the Bafana Bafana coach, Molefi Ntseki, said he was left out in order to give him time to recover from an injury he suffered, Zungu would have none of it.
What We Know About His Relationship With Khanyi Cele
Bongani Zungu was previously in a longterm relationship with Khanyi Cele. The couple in late 2018 got engaged after which Zungu went ahead to post photos of the proposal which happened at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Zungu and Khanyi were “couple goals” and greatly admired by many. However, it seemed as though the engagement jinxed their love as not so long after, the couple went there separate ways – by March of 2019 – in the most dramatic fashion.
His now ex-fiance Khanyi Cele at the time of the breakup went on a crazy social media rant. She made a video where she was seen badmouthing her former flame and going as far as calling on other girls to go have sex with him but be sure to send her photos of their act, assuring them that sex is all Zungu has to offer. The apparently drunk Khanyi was seen in the video being egged on by two women suspected to be her mom and aunt. The viral video has since been taken down by Cele from her Instagram page, but we have got some part of it for you below:
The cause of the break up was reported to be infidelity on the part of the footballer. The former lovebirds have now deleted each other photos from their respective social media pages.
Even though Bongani Zungu was accused of being a cheat (and ultimately responsible for their breakup) by his ex-fiancee, no names were particularly mentioned. There is a new report of Zungu being in a relationship with Cindy Mahlangu, the actress who plays Siyanda on The Queen. The two seem to be taking things seriously, however, only time will tell where it ends up.