Ndiviwe Mdabuka is a prodigal son of Ajax Cape Town – having been nurtured by the club’s development academy and reserve team before leaving in search of first-team football.
Born in Elliotdale, a town in Amatole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province, the central midfielder began his football career at Mfuleni United as a young boy.
Mdabuka went on to join lower division side Salt River Blackpool – where he caught the eye playing in their junior side in the Bayhill Under-19 Metropolitan Premier Cup.
In 2009, he was recruited to the Ajax development academy by Dutch tactician Foppe De Haan, who had recently joined the club as the first team head coach replacing Muhsin Ertugral.
After two years in the development academy and reserve team, Mdabuka left the Urban Warriors for National First Division (NFD) outfit Cape Town All Stars in search of first-term football.
All Stars’ local rivals Vasco Da Gama snapped up Mdabuka prior to the 2013/14 campaign. He was quick to establish himself at Vasco making 52 NFD appearances in two seasons.
His exploits attracted interest from his former side, Ajax, towards the end of the 2014/15 season. In April, 2015, the Urban Warriors announced that the midfielder would be returning home.
Ajax CEO Ari Efstathiou was quoted saying: “We welcome back another (signing) of our academy youth products, ‘Diva’ proved to the Ajax technical team that they made a mistake in releasing him.”
Mdabuka hit the ground running at Ikamva- impressively making 27 appearances in his debut season in the Absa Premiership – helping Ajax win the 2015 MTN8 Cup in the process.
His Man of the Match performance and solitary goal for Ajax against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium had seen his side advance to the MTN8 Cup semi-finals.
The hard-working midfielder remains a vital part of the team under current Ajax head coach Stanley Menzo, during the on-going 2016/17 campaign.