South Africa’s very own “SheRef”, Akhona Makalima, made headlines this week when she was announced as the only female referee appointed on the continent to officiate at the upcoming CAF 2021 U20 Men’s Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania.
The tournament is expected to run from 14 February – 4 March 2021, where the top three teams will represent Africa at the next U20 FIFA World Cup.
As the first certified female soccer referee in South Africa, Makalima is adding to her achievements which includes officiating for FIFA, the Premier Soccer League, the SASOL Women’s League, and the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Social media went abuzz to celebrate the Eastern Cape-born’s new-found success:
Stay winning @Akhona_sheref
Congratulations on your appointment as the only female center referee for the upcoming AFCON U20 in Mauritania.
You work speaks for itself ❤️⚽️
— Amanda toki Dlamini (@Amanda_Dlamini9) January 27, 2021
South Africa’s 🇿🇦 Akhona Makalima @Akhona_sheref has been selected as the only female center referee for the upcoming AFCON U20 in Mauritania.
She will be joined by Chedad Mariem from Mauritania 🇲🇷 and Senegal’s 🇸🇳 Adia Cisse. One day at a time. 🤗👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/0npggtDWLZ
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) January 26, 2021
Congratulations @Akhona_sheref !The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Keep walking ,and keep flying our flag.
— Lebogang (@Lebo_daniels) January 27, 2021
Photo 1 Caption: South African’s Akhona Makalima is the only female referee appointed on the continent to officiate at the upcoming CAF 2021 U20 Men’s Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania. Photo: Usher Komugisha (Twitter)