The DP WORLD African Woman in Sport Award seeks to honour a woman who is impacting sport in Africa, and going the extra mile to raise the profile of women’s sport on the African continent.
With the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards voting currently underway at gsport.co.za/voting, South Africa’s FIFA-accredited referee Akhona Makalima, Kenya’s middle- and long-distance running history maker, Faith Kipyegon and Malawian football star, Tabitha Chawinga will all battle it out for glory in this fiery category.
Makalima returns to the award category as she will be aiming to defend the title she won in 2022. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup referee is an inspiring force for women worldwide, embodying empowerment on the field.
Being a DP World African Woman award finalist signifies to her that she’s gaining recognition for her achievements.
“I feel seen when I’m being recognised, and I feel that I can express myself and also it makes me want to do more, to want to push more. Even though I feel seen and appreciated, it also gives me a little bit of a boost to continue fighting, to continue working and also to continue inspiring other people,” expressed Makalima.
“Now I’m at a point where I’m not doing it for myself, I’m also doing it for the people that are coming behind me. Being recognised really means that you’re visible, you’re seen, your work is appreciated and your work is celebrated.”
The #gsport16 Style Star winner views this award as a testament to her growth, reflecting the dedication and discipline she has consistently put forth.
“It talks more about my hard work, how consistent I am in what I am doing. When you are very disciplined and consistent, you are going to get all the results, so it talks about growth, it talks about discipline that I have been displaying throughout the year. So, being a finalist to me means everything and that I must continue growing.”
Echoing Makalima’s sentiments, 1500m, 5000m World Records, and the Women’s Mile Record holder, Kipyegon, emphasises the significance of inspiring women to persistently chase their dreams and strive for excellence.
“I feel honoured and proud to be amongst the finalists for the African Woman in Sport award. I love sport and it’s important for me as a mother to motivate girls and women to never give up on their dreams and aim high in whatever goals they have in life. This award is bringing both sport and women together, wonderful!”
With the Momentum gsport Awards extending beyond local borders and acknowledging talent across the continent, Kipyegon takes pride in her recognition as a Kenyan athlete, “I’m a Kenyan and therefore I’m also an African woman. To be recognized by another country in my continent Africa makes me happy and proud.
“Africa is a strong and energetic continent with a great future. Let’s all connect for a bright future”.
Concluding the category is Malawi’s exceptionally talented footballer, Chawinga, who has indelibly scribed her name in history, becoming the very first African player to secure the prestigious 2023 Italian Serie A Women’s Golden Boot Award.
Speaking on making the #gsport18 shortlist, Chawinga says: “I feel humbled, grateful and motivated. Being a finalist shows my contribution to sports is being recognized and seen.”
Chawinga’s remarkable journey exemplifies the epitome of sportswomanship and determination, inspiring not only her fellow athletes but also generations to come across the globe.
“Africa has immense sporting talent. I therefore recognize that my role in representing Africa at global level is to remain excellent in my sport, break glass ceilings and create paths for the African sports talent (present and future generations) to be seen, nurtured, appreciated and rightfully compensated at national level and across the globe.”
Stay tuned at gsport.co.za and @gspirt4girls across social media for all the latest on the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards campaign!