Gift Ngoepe, South Africa’s
most famous baseball export, has slammed a Netflix documentary chronicling his
journey as the first African to play Major League Baseball in the USA,
imploring viewers not to watch it.
The streaming giant had
released 'Hope: One in a Billion' back in December already, but Ngoepe
seemingly only became aware of the film recently.
In a post on his Instagram
account, the 30-year-old from Randburg, who memorably heralded his MLB debut
for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017 with a single, alleges that the film-makers “exploited my life story for money without
even telling me it was being sold”.
Instead, Ngoepe believed that the footage would merely be sold to
“(I) was never told that it was sold to
Netflix or any other streaming service PLEASE DO NOT WATCH!!!,” he wrote.
Shot three years ago, the film is directed by Brodje Wemboendja, an
obscure individual with essentially no digital footprint.
Ngoepe’s tale nonetheless remains inspirational, having grown up
at the Randburg Mets clubhouse, where his mother was employed.
In 2008, he was invited to the MLB’s academy in Italy, where the
Pirates signed him as a free agent.
He made his mark in the minor leagues, notably being named the
best defensive infielder in the franchise’s system for five consecutive
However, Ngoepe’s bright start in the Majors didn’t last long and
he’s currently unattached.
- Compiled by Heinz Schenk