Akhona Makalima: “It’s Humbling to Be Recognised as a Match Official”

Match official Akhona Makalima pictured on stage at the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards receiving the Imperial African Woman in Sport award at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. Photo: gsport

Two-time Momentum gsport Awards winner Akhona Makalima has announced a partnership with Virgin Active as their new brand ambassador.

This announcement comes at the perfect time for Makalima who was selected as one of the referees at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

SheRef, as she is affectionately known, is a two-time winner on the gsport stage. In 2022 she was awarded the Imperial African Woman in Sport award and before that she graced the stage as the winner of the Style Star of the Year at #gsport16.

As we go up a gear in ushering in #gsport18, Broadcaster Tumi Nkgapele, a finalist on the gsport stage was joined by Makalima on the weekly IG Live for the Power of Recognition series.

TheWorld Cup-bound Makalima is relishing the opportunity of going to Australia and New Zealand as one of 33 referees.

“I still feel the adrenaline rush, I’m a little bit scared because of the big stage but I’m excited at the opportunity that’s coming. I think everything will sink in when I’m boarding my flight.”

A ground-breaker of note, Makalima was the first certified female football referee in South Africa. She was part of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament, and has been a prominent feature in South Africa’s top flight league, the Sasol women’s league.

“It’s humbling too see that people will celebrate us and will recognise us for the work that we do. It’s not all the time that officials are recognised, we are always on the other side of the table where we are being scrutinised. When people start celebrating and acknowledging us then you sort of realise how far you’ve come,”

“Recognition tells me to keep going. There is so much resilience and mental toughness that is needed from us as match officials.  Support gives you a bit of a push. It enables me and boosts me to also help young girls. I’m going to be a big sister to someone who wants to be where I am today.”

With 2023 being the Year of Women’s Sport Makalima says this provides the perfect opportunity for women to align themselves.

“At the beginning of the year when I saw the calendar for women in sport events, I said to myself any woman that is not inspired to participate in sport, to excel in sport, this is the time to reflect and look at what is going on around them. Find a sport around you, get involved, find a mentor. This is the year to be inspired and motivated. This is the year to shape up and find where you belong. It’s either you level up or step down. There’s no way you can say you aren’t inspired by this year.”

To watch the full IG Live conversation, click here

Photo 1 Caption: Match official Akhona Makalima pictured on stage at the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards receiving the Imperial African Woman in Sport award at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. Photo: gsport

Please Rate this Post

0 ratings, 0 votes0 ratings, 0 votes (0 rating, 0 votes, rated)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

Recent Posts

Categories

Follow Us