The NWU & U


Please send us your comments, suggestions and any other contributions you would like to make, for instance photographs or news snippets.


We value your opinions and input – after all, the NWU & U belongs to us all.




Next Article

previous article



more info




Thulaganyo Gaoshubele, NWU alumnus and president of the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU), is committed to safeguarding the interests of professional football players across their clubs.


Born in Schweizer-Reneke, one of the North West’s small towns, Thulaganyo enrolled for a BCom degree at the then University of North West in 1994.


The university experience completed him as a person. “I did everything a student could possibly do, from politics to beauty pageants. The mass meetings that used to take place at the Great Hall were one of the highlights of my stay at the university,” he says.


“My time at university isn’t just a footnote in my life. Looking back to my student life I have no doubt it’s one of the aspects that shaped the person that I am today. I became more aware of my rights and appreciated the law better,” says Thulaganyo.


Returning to greener pastures


In 1998, Thulaganyo joined the Black Management Forum (BMF) for a short stint of six months. “Towards the end of that year I called it a day and began a more fulfilling and interesting journey, football.  I played for teams such as Silver Stars FC, Classics FC, Umthata BushBucks FC, Amazulu FC and Hellenic FC.”


He hung up his soccer boots at the age of 29 when he joined SAFPU as deputy secretary general in 2004, working his way up to his current position as president.


Juggling many balls


His role includes acting as chief negotiator for the union, providing strategic leadership, heading the union’s international desk and taking responsibility for organising associations in Southern African countries. In addition to these duties, he is a board member of the Federation of International Associations Footballers Professionals (FIFPro) Africa.


Although his football is played off the pitch these days, there is no doubt about his love and dedication to the beautiful game – a passion that was nurtured back in his student days.

Alumnus has football in his veins

“There are those who tell me that I played my best football during my university days, but all I know is that my love for the game runs deep in my veins.”

Thulaganyo Gaoshubele, NWU alumnus and president of the South African Football Players Union, fell in love with the beautiful game while studying BCom at the former University of North West between 1994 and 1996.

Thulaganyo’s devotion to football is matched only by his loyalty to the players of this beautiful game.


A fan for life


His first taste of varsity football came soon after his arrival at the former University of the North West.


“Immediately after registration and after the dust had settled from the freshers’ ball, it was time to welcome those of us who purported to know football,” he recalls.


This introduction began with a game between first years and senior students, played by teams called Ma-Fresher and Ma-Stailer.


“I played for the university when most of the players were from the Bophuthatswana Soccer League, including Star Ntuli, Gideon Noge, Webster Diwepi, Tshepo Boikanyo, Levy Rantsho, Master Gill, Ishmael Carter Masumpa … and the list goes on.


“Well, I must say, I held my own among them.”


In 1995, Thulaganyo and Gideon Noge were part of the SASSU squad that represented South Africa at the student games in Japan.



NWU & U  |

NWU & U  |