Sylvester Samaushu is a football legend in his own right after many years of experience from playing to now coaching.
Like any other boy, ‘Bro Sly’ as his known in the football circles of Mahikeng, started playing football in the streets and ended up being recruited to play for Dion Cosmos under Mr. Jomo Sono, though his grandmother had other ideas.
Recently, Samaushu showed interest in women’s football by sponsoring a team that is Mahikeng Ladies to register in the Regional Absa League, which is coached by Mr. Shap Mshengu.
Just after a year in the Regional League, Mahikeng Ladies has now been promoted to Sasol Women’s League for the next season, where they became the overall winners from the playoffs.
With Mahikeng Ladies, Samaushu is hoping to compete at the highest level and also compete in the Hollywoodbets Super League. His greatest ambition is to run a successful football club like Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Sylvester Samaushu chats more about developing girls in football:
Sylvester, thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself and where you are from?
Sylvester Matshidiso Samaushu was born in the village called Mareetsane but grew in place called Nootgedacht in Ditsobotla Region. Attended primary in Nootgedacht and Makouspan. I completed my school in Kobue High school before going to higher learning institutions. He is humble married man with three children and one grandson who always support me in every project of sports especially my wife.
I started to play football in the streets like any other boys. I was recruited to play for Dion Cosmos immediately after Mr. Jomo Sono bought the team but my grandmother refused to sign the contract due to I was still at school.
Leadership is something that I am born with. From streets soccer to high school I was nominated to captain. I was elected to management at the age of fourteen in the village which I obtained until I was recruited to play in one of the best team that was playing in one of Bophuthatswana Football Association.
Where did your love for sports begin?
It start when I was 6/7 years old when we started with street football. I used to own team called Dichabe FC. We used to travel around the nearby village with my team. I make sure that my team has outfits and are washed every Saturday afternoon so that on Sunday afternoon we are ready. Development of sports is in my blood. But football is everything to me.
You are involved in women’s football. Please tell us more about that?
After carefully discussions with my two daughters and hear their interests in sports I find that it’s time to redirect my focus to women’s football. Obviously you can’t do it alone you need people who have knowledge of Ladies football.
That’s how I get involved.
Sometime four years back I was asked to assist with sponsorship for these girls, long time before we had professional teams around Mahikeng. I used to go and see young girls playing in Montshioa turf.
Mr Shap Mshengu ask me to assist these young girls by registering a team in the Regional Absa league. I talked with my family and they gave me their blessings to register them. The team is owned by my daughter Onalenna, it is 100 % youth and we want to keep it like that.
But to answer your question my family and Mr Shap convinced me to come to women’s football. But they were lucky because sports in everything to me. Today the team was just promoted to Sasol league next season. Luckily we have excellent technical team members. Mafikeng Ladies is not my team ke team ya Mahikeng (it’s the team of Mahikeng), and we want to see the team playing at Hollywoodbets Super League in 2023.
What are the local competitions you partake in and what they called?
This year the team play in Nyaka Modiri Molema regional Absa league. The league consists of 11 teams around the region. We became the winner of the region and proceed to Provincial playoffs for promotion to Sasol league next season and we became the overall winner from playoffs. We also take part in some community development tournaments which we win all of them. Our motto is #Refitlhile
Why is it important to have a development program in your area?
Very important to have such development. We are taking children away from streets. Remember this team is not only about playing football we want to develop them academically. Next year we are going to start with development of young girls. If you really want to invest and have returns, invest in the youth this country and you will never go wrong.
How can young girls in the area who want to start playing football get access to your team?
In our annual report meeting that will be held in December, the team will be finished with the team for next year program. Everyone will be informed about our programs especially for development of young girls want to play football.
What are you hoping to achieve with this initiative?
First achievement was to be promoted to Sasol league and we spent only one year. Second achievement will be to be promoted to Hollywoodbets Super League but the most importantly is to see these girls play competitive football and playing overseas which is possible looking at their age.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My highlights so far is owning a team competing in the second highest level. Being the longest serving President of Laduma Legends. Making a difference in other people’s lives.
What setbacks have you encountered and how did you manage to overcome them?
Challenges are everywhere in life especially when working with people.
The were some projects that were not achieved like visiting every single church that our members of my team attend. It was my intention to make them to be responsible members of the society.
I still not able to pass the baton as our motto says. But as re bua Roma ya agiwa ka tsatsi le le lengwe (but as we say, Rome wasn’t built in one day). Achievement is a process which I am working on. And with God everything is possible.
Funding and partnership is one thing that is a challenge especially on development and social responsibility. But with the connection and good Samaritans hope things will work out.
What are your thoughts on the state of women’s football?
Since the establishment of women’s football league, it has improved dramatically. But I think with the assistance of media like yourself we can do more. The only way to improve is to have more developments that are fully supported.
We need everyone’s support to improve. Wa ruta mosadi o rutile Setshaba (you teach a woman, you have taught the nation). As a country we will never go wrong to invest on women’s football.
What is your greatest ambition for yourself and for the team?
Running a successful Ladies football club like Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
Taking the team to Hollywood stage and to staying there forever. Promoting as many girls as we can to play abroad. To see all these young girls graduating academically. To have development of my own that develop only girls. Lastly my legacy must be written for everyone to read.
Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to write about me. Ke a leboga my God bless you. #Refitlhile
Photo Caption: Mahikeng Ladies FC has been promoted to Sasol Women’s League, and promoter Sylvester Samaushu reveals he wants to run a successful club like Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. Photo: Supplied