She is not only lovable as her name, she is also intelligent, focused, modest and clearly charismatic. Amanda Sinegugu Dlamini has proven that what a man can do an African woman can do….………………Amanda is not just a footballer, she is one with class. She was the captain of the South African Senior Women’s National Team. A position she resigned early this year for academic reasons. With Amanda, anyone would agree that looks can be quite deceptive, though mild in appearance, Amanda is tough in action. Little wonder she managed her position as the Banyana Banyana captain exceptionally well and always led her team to victory. Her petite frame always gives an impression that she might be weak and feeble, but I tell you; the opposite is the case.
This action lady, as I love to call her is a student at the University of Johannesburg where she is currently completing her third year of study in Transport Management, a course she chose because of her love for import, export and transportation of goods and services.
Relinquishing the armband as the captain of her prosperous team was not an easy decision for Amanda but she knew that it was time to do what she had to do. She says, “It has truly been an amazing journey leading the team for the past three years and my position as captain has opened a lot of doors for me while on the field of play. I led Banyana Banyana during one of our most successful eras which saw us make history and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. I wish the next captain all the best in leading such an amazing bunch of talented and committed girls; as a senior member of the team I will continue to give my support and guidance where it is needed. I’m grateful to SAFA and Sasol for their continued support for women’s football and for affording me the opportunity to lead our national team.”
Amanda has made 60 appearances for Banyana Banyana and has scored 19 goals during her time as the captain of the high-riding Banyana side since 2010.
This roving mid fielder has always had the fire of football burning in her spine, a feeling she has never been able to control and which has now elevated her to international acclaim. The first time she played football, she was just standing in to make up the numbers for some local boys, and she totally enjoyed the game, so she joined a club and since then maintained continuous progress and has been outstanding on every level.
After spurring the under 21 side to glory in the 2008 Cosafa tournament, the action lady kept at it and scored a brace against Malawi in the 2011 Cosafa, but the glory was short lived as the South African team eventually lost 1-0 to the Zimbabwean team. But Amanda didn’t have a reason to lose heart, according to her; “in football you win some, you lose some.”
The football expert is amazed at the level of ignorance and faithlessness in women’s football. She asserts, “We have arrived and we want people to take us seriously. We want a fair share. Some people are of the view that women’s football is not part of mainstream soccer and we have announced our arrival and we want to be recognized. Football remains a male dominated, almost male exclusive sport, which I believe is not fair. We want women’s football to gain both credibility and coverage.”
The charismatic Amanda was born on 22 July 1988 and she is a native of Harding, Kwazulu- Natal, South Africa. She believes she has a mandate to inspire youths mostly from rural areas through the national team platform. She says, “I want to use this opportunity to inspire the youths to realize their dreams; that is how I want to be remembered.” She also set up an institute, The Amanda Dlamini Girl’s Foundation, which focuses on empowering young women in the rural areas by providing them with skills and information. “I set up the Amanda Dlamini Girl’s Foundation with the aim of helping girls in the rural areas with basic necessities, the aim was also to provide them with enough information to shape their careers and reach their dreams in life. We conducted coaching clinics at one of the disadvantaged schools in the rural areas of my home town in Kwazulu-Natal and that experience was quite fulfilling. I want to inspire some of these youngsters to follow their dreams through sports and provide information about sports bursaries and the likes. I enjoy interacting with the young girls during some of our coaching clinics.”
Amanda has also been involved in numerous community building projects like, Sports Heroes Walk against AIDS together with her fellow team mates Noko Matlou and former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Elis.
The action striker has also had her share of challenges, she recounts having to face life without the love of her father and friend, the one that set the fire of football burning in her. Her parent’s divorce was a big blow for her; but she says, “I have to overcome the echoes of my childhood life, I have moved on.”
Amanda still continues to do what she knows to do best, scoring the goals, breaking boundaries and touching lives. If Amanda can, then you sure can. Find what you love and enjoy doing it.
© 2013 – 2017, Lovelyn Okafor. All rights reserved.