A deep passion for sport and fitness is the fuel that keeps the 29-year-old Mpendulo Lukhele going. The self-disciplined Daveyton resident comes from a family of six and he is the last born of Sarah Lukhele and the late John Lukhele.
Soccer has been Lukhele’s first love, he drew inspiration from his late dad who was a soccer player, but who couldn’t take his soccer career further due to an injury he sustained in a car accident. To prove his love of being in the field, Lukhele started playing soccer at the age of 12, as a defender. He went as far as going to the trials of Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces.
“I was not lucky enough because I didn’t get the opportunity to perform because of the huge number of players who turned out for the Orlando Pirates trials, however for Black Aces trials I was able to give it a shot but it was unsuccessful,” said Lukhele.
He then started weightlifting at the age of 14 because he envied his friend’s body physique, but he couldn’t keep up with the pace, so he continued playing soccer. But in 2017 he started working out again and registered with virgin active.
“What interested me again was the desire to build a great stature and to implement a good lifestyle, and also to have a good life expectancy. In order to have a good life expectancy you need to be healthy as much as possible.”
During level 4 of the national lockdown in 2020, Lukhele and his friend and gym partner, Sipho Nhlapho conceived the LL4 gym movement which is still operating to date. Lukhele told Ekurhuleni News that it all started in his yard.
“We started with one tire and a few weights that were donated by people, the community loved what we were doing and they quickly joined without any invitations. This was because everyone had nothing to do during the lockdown and they saw it fit to support the vision.”
He further explained that what inspired him to be a personal trainer was the gap that he witnessed in his community; he realised that a lot of people have an interest in training but they just lack motivation, encouragement and support. He saw it best to help people out because he would choose the gym even in his sleep.
He believes that many benefits come with training, one of them being mental stability other than the obvious benefit of being good looking. He also emphasized that eating healthy can sustain one’s life.
Lukhele inspires a lot of his mates because he has a good personality and he also lends a helping hand where it is needed. Sibusiso Mazibuko, a member of the LL4 gym movement admires the continued effort put in by Lukhele.
“I look at him as an idol in the fitness world. I have known him for years now and he has always been dedicated and passionate about fitness. He is true to his character and convictions, one thing that stands out about him is that he will push you beyond limits to ensure that you reach your body goals,” explained Mazibuko.
Lukhele is a versatile person, he is currently playing for the Benoni Northerns FC and he is completing his Diploma in personal training at Trifocus Fitness Academy. What stands out about him as a personal trainer is that he respects his clients and he goes beyond his limits with them.
By Simphiwe Nkosi