12 June 2013
Banyana Banyana midfielder Amanda Dlamini says she wants to leave a legacy by inspiring young South Africans from rural areas through the national team platform. “I want to use this opportunity to inspire the youth to realise their dreams. That is how I want to be remembered,” she said this week.
A former Banyana Banyana captain, the roving midfielder is involved in the development of girls through her budding community building institute, the Amanda Dlamini Girls’ Foundation.
The foundation focuses on empowering young women in rural areas by providing them with life skills and information to help them as they grow. It also hosts coaching clinics.
“I set up the Amanda Dlamini Girls’ Foundation with the aim of helping girls in the rural areas with basic necessities,” Dlamini said.
“The aim was to also provide them with enough information to shape their careers and reach their dreams in life.
“We conducted coaching clinics at one of the disadvantaged schools in the rural areas of my hometown in KwaZulu-Natal and that experience was quite fulfilling.
“I want to inspire some of these youngsters to follow their dreams through sports and provide information about sports bursaries and the like,” the dreadlocked midfielder said, adding that the enjoyed interacting with the young girls during the coaching clinics.
Dlamini has been involved in several community building projects, including the Sports Heroes Walk against Aids together with team-mate Noko Matlou and former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis.
Back to her best
On Sunday, she was back to her best, delivering a player of the match winning performance in Banyana Banyana’s 5-0 romp over Mozambique in a one-sided friendly match played at the KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit.
Modestly, Dlamini said the trick to Sunday’s run-away victory was the fact that the team played according to instructions.
“We just stuck to the plan and it worked out well because we have been playing together for quite some time now.” The coach’s instruction was to help the new players feel at home, Dlamini said.
“That we did very well and the fact that their introduction was capped with a massive victory should have worked as a morale booster for them,” she reckoned.
Dlamini, who led the Sasol-sponsored women’s national squad during their first- ever Olympic campaign last year, relinquished her Banyana Banyana captaincy in order to focus on her studies and concentrate on improving her game without the pressures that comes with being the team leader.
“I felt my performance on the field on Sunday was okay, but there is still room for improvement. The coach asked me to express myself without any pressure and I am happy things worked out more than I expected.”
She said while giving up the captaincy was not an easy decision, the move has allowed her to rekindle her old form.
“As captain, you have to be at the top of your game all the time and lead from the front. That pressure is now gone and am again enjoying my freedom and football,” she concluded.
SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association