Denis Papa Danso Weidlich was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents. Before the kick-off of the current PSL season he moved from Germany to South Africa to defend for Maritzburg United. The GIC Africa did an exclusive interview with the 30-year-old about his experiences in Mzansi.
He told us that his jersey number five represents his family and that he transformed from a striker in his early career to a defender these days. His younger brother is also a professional playing for German side Energie Cottbus.
GIC: Danso, how did your move to the PSL come about?
Danso Weidlich (DW): I just terminated my contract with Holstein Kiel, a team in Germany’s 3rd divison and always wanted to play football abroad. In 2015 I played for Hansa Rostock, a big German traditional team. Peter Vollmann, the manager at that time and close friend to Ernst Middendorp, asked me if I am interested in playing in the PSL in SA. I said yes straight away.
GIC: Tell us about your experience after your first six months, what are your highlights, what surprised you in/about Mzansi?
DW: Mzansi is completely different to Germany, the weather what is shockingly HOT HOT!!! It was tough getting used to the game in the PSL, particulary with the weather conditions, but now I have adjusted. One of my highlights was definitely playing at the FNB stadium, a perfect piece of architecture comparable to the Allianz Arena in Munich. What really surprised me is the way some of the South African pilots are landing, its very scary some times.
GIC: What are you doing for fun?
DW: I love being around my wife and kids and spend some nice time with them and meet with friends. After six months many became like family to us. Kurt Lentjies (captain at Maritzburg Utd.) and his family helped us a lot feeling at home.
GIC: Did you pick up any of the official South Africa languages? If so, give us a taste!
DW: Most of my teammates speak isiZulu, some Afrikaans, so its flying past me on a daily basis. I still need some time to perfect it, but the basics I can say.
GIC: How do you rate the South African League compared to the German Bundesliga?
DW: The PSL is a tough league, very good players among the teams that I played against. The atmosphere on the ranks is not like in Germany when its comes to supporters and choreographies, there Germany is number 1 and England is very close.
GIC: Could you imagine ending your career in South Africa?
DW: Never say never my family its happy here, my kids are going to school so only god knows what is going to happen. South Africa its definitely a place where I could see myself in future.
GIC: Last but not least, who was the most difficult PSL player to defend against in your first months?
DW: There are a few that I could name but the hardest I had to defend against was my teammate Abia Nale.