In a rousing speech at the Momentum gsport Awards 2023, Nontokozo Madonsela, the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited, shed light on the significance of gender equality in sports sponsorship and celebrated the achievements of women athletes in South Africa (SA).
Enduring Partnerships and Momentum Metropolitan has been a proud sponsor of the gsport Awards for five years, and Madonsela acknowledged the enduring partnership with Kass Naidoo, the founder of gsport.
“We are in a long-term relationship Kass, and still counting and hoping that the elevation of women in sport will be recognised by the world. This year is confirmation of how incredible the accomplishments are.”Nontokozo Madonsela, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited
Starting her address by expressing enthusiasm for the collaboration with gsport Awards, Madonsela extended her best wishes to all the nominees and applauded their outstanding abilities. She affirmed, “We are thrilled to partner with gsport Awards in celebrating the incredible talents that women athletes in South Africa possess. Thanks to you, Kass, and your incredible team.”
The Power and Resilience of Female Athletes
Quoting Marianne Williamson, Madonsela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” She emphasised the tremendous courage and resilience displayed by female athletes as they rise above obstacles and become beacons of hope and leaders in their respective fields.
While acknowledging the limitations of financial resources, Madonsela emphasised Momentum’s commitment to advocating for gender-balanced sponsorship strategies in sports. She stated, “We believe that corporate leaders should do all they can to empower women athletes.”
Madonsela highlighted the remarkable moments witnessed at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and quoted Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, who described the players as heroic warriors. Madonsela firmly believes that women in sports embody courage, discipline, resilience, and leadership, paralleling the attributes of warriors.
Challenges and Calls to Action
Madonsela stressed the importance of recognising the challenges faced by female athletes, including gender biases, stereotypes, and a lack of financial support. She shared a striking statistic revealing that 66% of female footballers are forced to take unpaid leave due to their sport often being treated as a side hustle. Madonsela called for increased representation and support, stating, “When strong women excel in sport, they serve as powerful inspiration for others to pursue athletic careers. Female athletes deserve fair pay and respect.”
Recognising the vital role played by stakeholders and fans in boosting the credibility and exposure of women in sports, Madonsela urged corporate South Africa to embrace the responsibility of promoting gender equality through sponsorship strategies.
Photo Caption: Nontokozo Madonsela addresses the audience, championing gender equality in sports at the Momentum gsport Awards 2023. Photo: Screengrab of the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards broadcast