When we think of the pioneers of women’s soccer it’s hard not to mention Amanda Dlamini in the same sentence. The former Banyana Banyana captain was the face of the sport for many years and now that her time on the pitch has come to an end she is making big moves off it.
Dlamini made history at this year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON), taking place in Ivory Coast from 13 January -11 February 2024, where she became the first female commentator in the tournament’s history. On Wednesday, 17 January 2024, she rewrote the history books when she was behind the mic for the fixture between Morocco and Tanzania in the opening round of fixtures.
“I knew it was the biggest day of my life to do a Men’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations. When I was told I would be commentating at AFCON, I was very overwhelmed but had to try to keep calm. I didn’t want it to get to my head because of how emotional the feeling was. I’m hoping this historic moment opens more doors for many other women to believe in their abilities and talents.”Former Banyana Banyana captain and accomplished Supersport football expert Amanda Dlamini
The 35-year-old was part of two Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) tournaments as a player, she has now become a regular pundit on SuperSport where she is often part of their panels, giving her expert analysis on various games, in the men’s and women’s sphere.
Dlamini has done nothing but shine since she has been on the international stage. Coming from the small town of Harding, in Kwa-Zulu-Natal to the international stage has made her remember fond memories watching the African continental showpiece many years ago with her family at their home.
“I was actually reminiscing with colleagues about how my parents used to go refill the car battery so we could watch Bafana Bafana games in 1996. I remember an incident where my mother burnt uphuthu twice when South Africa won the tournament because it was so intense. I remember my dad picking me up and tossing me in the air after the final whistle,” she shared on cafonline,com.
Being a commentator might look glamorous to the outside world with all the bright lights, stylish clothes, and make-up but as Dlamini points out, a fair amount of thought and preparation goes into each game.
“I enjoy the back stories of teams. Their objectives especially the coaches’ thoughts and preparation. Then it’s comparing starting lineups, and formations and getting individual stats on players as they are world-class players across the world. And then it’s pronunciations of player’s names and surnames (laughs).”
“My job is thorough and requires focus on analysis, patterns, and the behaviour of players while they try executing the game plan. Tactics and formations are a passion for me, which is where I would like to further advance myself in the future in addition to commentary,” said Dlamini on cafonline.com.
Given the magnitude of her achievement, Dlamini has garnered a host of praise from the soccer world. Referee Akhona Makalima, who herself is representing South Africa as an official at the tournament, shared a sweet Instagram post congratulating Dlamini on her success.
“Congratulations Sisi @realamanda_madlamini9, on this special achievement. History will remember you!”
Radio and television sports broadcaster Tumi Nkgapele also sang Dlamini’s praise in a post on X that read: “Proud of you first female commentator at the AFCON. You doing a great job #AFCON2024”
Main Photo caption: When we think of the pioneers of women’s soccer it’s hard not to mention Amanda Dlamini in the same sentence. The former Banyana Banyana captain was the face of the sport for many years, and she is making big moves since her time on the pitch came to an end. Photo: CAF