My name is Simamkele Lesele, also known as VillaRosa. I turn 23 years old in April.
I am a goalkeeper for Wits Football Club, the Smiling Assassins, and I work as an Account Manager intern at Brave Group advertising agency.
Football has always been something I have been obsessed with and fascinated about even though I was open to other sports. I tried a variety of sporting codes but they were not resonating with me and my character.
I started playing football at a very young age in Eastern Cape, in a small township called Tarkastard. Growing up in a small township, with no opportunities, inspired me to strive for success and make sure my dreams do come true, regardless of where I come from.
In 2011, I moved to Johannesburg permanently, where I started my Grade 8 and played the beautiful game till grade 12.
When I was still in grade 12, a team called Imbokodo asked me to join them. The team was based in Zola, Soweto. It was all fun till we had a tournament at Nike Centre and we played against Wits and we were beaten 14-0 as my family watched on in a packed stadium.
After that match, I told myself one day I will play for Wits Football Club. Despite the loss, Coach Collen Hans, saw potential in me that day and called me to come and play for his team Soweto Fabulous F.C.
“Through football, I have discovered my true self, it is my best friend, my therapy.” – Wits Football Club goalkeeper, Simamkele Lesele
It was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The coach started polishing my skills and I played in the Sasol League. In 2018 I went to trial at Wits and they selected me to be part of the team to date.
Through football, I have discovered my true self, it is my best friend, my therapy. Through it, I’ve learned to multitask, became a problem solver, strategic thinker. I can socialize more and be vocal, and no longer be shy. To be a leader, responsible, patient, I can go on an entire day.
The most memorable event in football that I had is when we lost to Wits and when Wits took me after trials and being coached by the same coach who beat us, Coach Ntabeleng Modiko, also known as Dunga who used to play for Banyana Banyana.
My goal is to play in Spain and write about women in sport and also empower young women who want to play sport but don’t believe in themselves. I want young women to know that it is possible to play soccer and have a career in the corporate world.
Photo 1 Caption: Simamkele Lesele, also known as VillaRosa, is a 23-year-old goalkeeper for Wits Football Club. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: Simamkele Lesele is also an intern Account Manager at Brave Group advertising agency. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 Caption: She started playing football at a very young age in Eastern Cape, in a small township called Tarkastard. Growing up in a small township, with no opportunities, inspired her to strive for success and make sure her dreams do come true, regardless of where she comes from. Photo: Supplied
With editing by gsport