Why Teko Modise’s wife runs the household finances

Through the MoneyEDGE platform, Nedbank is using South Africa’s passion for football to inspire authentic money conversations on Nedbank Reality Football, a series of interviews with local legends of the game, conducted by soccer veteran Brian Mathe.

In Episode 2, Brian chats to Teko Modise, the renowned midfielder nicknamed ‘the General’, who’s had an illustrious career in the PSL. He’s played for SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City.

While discussing a range of football issues, Teko also opens up about his money habits, the mistakes he’s made and how he got things back on track.

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Learning to make better choices

Teko grew up in Diepkloof, Soweto, and proved extremely talented from a young age. He says he ventured into football out of passion, not to make tons of money. But money inevitably followed when his career took off. He says he learnt about money the hard way – his public transgressions are well known, and they led him to make poor money choices.

But things changed when he switched clubs and took a substantial salary cut. Suddenly, he had to start taking money seriously and learning the importance of budgeting.

‘My wife is my financial manager’

Teko says he’s learnt not to let his ego get in the way of a good thing. He’s lucky enough to have a wife who is an expert at handling finances, so she’s the one who manages the household’s financial planning. He says the system they have come up with works well for them – they get things done, and she’s also managed to teach him about the value of money.

The importance of honest money conversations

As former football stars, both Brian and Teko understand how important it is for soccer players to think about retirement early, so that at the end or their careers they aren’t scrambling for something to boost their income streams.

They also see a need for programmes to teach young players about financial matters, especially as many are from poor backgrounds. When they suddenly find themselves earning lots of money but they have no experience in managing it, they need solid mentorship to help them avoid making disastrous financial decisions. One of Teko’s dreams is to see South African footballers start a culture of having honest money conversations.

His advice to current professional players is refreshing: ‘Don’t conform to the norm. Don’t feel expected to drive a certain car or lead a certain lifestyle. It’s okay to be different. It’s acceptable to be different,’ he says.