In an evening celebrating women’s sports, Andile Dlamini, the talented goalkeeper for the Banyana Banyana team and the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, received the esteemed Momentum Athlete of the Year award at the 18th edition of the gsport Awards.
Notably, Dlamini had previously earned the title of Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, establishing herself as one of Africa’s finest women athletes and our current gsport’s #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) feature.
Dlamini’s remarkable achievement was highlighted in a conversation with gsport’s social writer, Lungile Matsuma. They discussed her feelings about being recognised at the gsport Awards, the significant role her coaches played in her development, and her message of hope for all women’s sports enthusiasts.
Congratulations, Andile: How does it feel to be recognised as a #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) at the Momentum gsport Awards?
It feels absolutely amazing. Wow, for me, I… like I’ve been saying… this one is not for me, it’s for everyone. I represent people, I represent the whole of Africa. For that girl who starts from nothing and becomes something, it means a great deal. Thank you to Kass for these beautiful awards. I only wish for their continued success, growing greater with each passing year. This year was incredible, my first gsport award, and it’s truly incredible. I’ve been nominated before, and when Bongiwe won, I understood why she won. She inspired me to do many things because she represented the people. I don’t think I was ready to win it at that time, but now I was ready because of her inspiration.
What role have Coach Desiree and other coaches played in your development as a player?
All the coaches I’ve worked with have been amazing. They worked tremendously hard with me. Every coach who has guided Andile Dlamini has had a positive impact on my growth. They’ve provided encouragement during moments of improvement and offered congratulations during moments of success. So, for me, these coaches, including my personal coach, Coach Gregor, Coach Jerry (the Sundowns coach), Coach Des, and all the goalkeeper coaches I’ve worked with, have played a significant role in shaping my life.
Lastly, what message do you hope to convey through your presence at the Momentum gsport Awards?
To gsport, thank you for recognising powerful women, creating this opportunity, and showing love and celebration for women. These awards, as I mentioned before, I wish for them to become even bigger. Kass, we know you were based in America, but your dedication to celebrating women means a lot. Not only are you celebrating, but you’re also generating employment opportunities for everyone, including those working behind the scenes. To Kass – God bless you. I love and respect you so much, and may God protect you. To everyone, keep working hard. Your efforts will be acknowledged. These awards are the most significant for women in South Africa, and thank you to all the men who support women.
Photo Caption: Andile Dlamini, shining prior to being unveiled as the 2023 Momentum Athlete of the Year, pictured launching her career as an artist on the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards stage. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha (c) gsport 2023