#ChooseDay: Celebrating Momentum Athlete of the Year, Andile Dlamini

Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper, Andile Dlamini, performing at the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards as the opening act at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 12 September. Photo: gsport

2023 Momentum Athlete of the Year, Andile Dlamini, exemplifies self-actualisation. Not only is she one of South Africa’s top goalkeepers and an incredibly influential player in the Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies squads, she’s also an incredible singer.

The Women’s Africa Cup of Nations goalkeeper of the tournament was the opening act at the Momentum gsport Awards, the first time an athlete took centre stage as the opening act. This she did alongside Indoni Higher Primary Choir from Meadowlands, Soweto.

During a gsport X-Space Dlamini, who forever leads with humility, explained how she incorporated the choir: “Kass called me and told me about the performance. She told me to be creative about it, you know, and the first thing that came to my mind was a Choir. I thought to myself let me go to a school that I help in Soweto and ask for their Choir.”

Taking Centre Stage at the Momentum gsport Awards

Performing the song that broke the internet when Banyana Banyana were on duty for South Africa at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Athandwe, she mesmerised the attendees at Africa’s premium women in sport gathering.

“That song made Africans so proud, and I know it inspired so many girls. I also know Banyana Banyana inspired so many girls, so I wanted my teammates to also be proud of what they’ve done at the World Cup and the spirit of Africa being shown on the show because I feel like gsport is not only for South Africans, it’s for Africans.”

Reflecting on Andile’s journey of self-actualisation, she has inspired many people to chase their dreams even if they are outside of your day to day job. Not only is she using her full potential to represent the nation at the highest level as an athlete but she’s also building a career in music.

Such ambition can be terrifying for most of us. From fear of the unknown to Imposter Syndrome, but I’m certain Dlamini has inspired all of us to exploit our potential as it is possible to be excellent at more than one talent/skill. It’s also so wonderful to see that the world has been so accepting and so open to support her.

Chasing Dreams Beyond the Pitch

This support also came from gsport. Andile was booked and remunerated for her performance at the awards. Unlike what is the norm, she was not asked to perform for exposure since she’s “starting out.” gsport saw value in the service she’s rendering and paid her for it, accordingly.

“It still feels super amazing. Kass has shown how women need to be respected. This is the first gig she has called me for gsport and I thought, ‘okay, I’m just going to do it. I’m going to motivate girls’. When she said she’s going to pay me for it. I finally felt appreciated.

“This is like the biggest gig. It was live on SuperSport. Its career changing. It’s something that is going to make a lot of people who didn’t even know that Andile can sing understand that Andile can sing, and being paid for it is just a cherry on top.

“I’m thankful because that money changed a whole lot of people’s lives. The people that from the school. I’m grateful for that moment. I will never forget that moment. And a lot of people will never forget that moment. I just pray to God that a lot of sponsors will come on board so that it becomes even bigger and very broad. It takes over Africa.”

The vital takeaway from one of Africa’s top goalkeepers is to pursue those dreams, even if they intimidate you. Grab the opportunities that fall on your feet because one of them could be life changing. But also be humble in whatever you do, don’t forget that there’s a bigger picture, changing the world and inspiring generations. Dlamini is doing just that. May she be #BookednBusy!

Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper, Andile Dlamini, performing at the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards as the opening act at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 12 September. Photo: gsport.

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