Being nominated is more like I am celebrated for the hard work I have done throughout the year – Andile Dlamini.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team Goalkeeper, Andile ‘Sticks’ Dlamini has been nominated by the Gauteng Sport Awards for Sports Personality of the Year. Dlamini was delighted with her nomination and expressed how she feels about being recognised for her hard work as a woman in football.

“I feel honoured and blessed. I am happy that my hard work is being recognised and celebrated because being nominated is more like I’m celebrated for the hard work I have done throughout the year. I don’t think that I would have been able to achieve all that I have this year without my teammates at Mamelodi Sundowns and the National Team (Banyana Banyana)”, said the shot stopper.

The decorated Banyana Banyana Goalkeeper gave applause to her teammates and the technical team for the role they played in motivating her to perform to the best of her abilities. She mentioned how the great facilities and equipment at Chloorkop have enabled her and the team to put on great performances in all matches, competitions, and tournaments.

Sticks joined Mamelodi Sundowns in 2010 and since then, she has grown and contributed immensely to the overall growth and success of the club. Playing for The Brazilians as well as for the National team is proof enough that she is a passionate and dedicated footballer. Dlamini recently featured in a film by Mamelodi Sundowns and Fell & Co that was released early this month, titled – Banyana Ba Style: The First Queens of African Club Football. The film underlines the struggles that women in football face and celebrates the journey of the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team as they achieved the historic milestone of claiming the first-ever CAF Women’s Champions League title in Cairo, 2021.

With Women’s Football slowly getting acknowledged in the sports industry, the sassy international goalie has been a part of women in the football industry that continues to break records. Dlamini put forward what nominations like these mean for women in sports, she said: “These nominations and award ceremonies mean that things are gradually growing and changing. We did an incredible thing this year with the National Team by winning the AFCON, and people are slowly taking women’s football seriously.”

“People now understand that we have inspired a lot of growth in the country. For me, this is a motivation to continue working hard because people are taking note of my hard work.”

In the spirit of recognition and celebrations, Dlamini will be heading to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup courtesy of Hyundai. She expressed her gratitude and said, “I am grateful and happy that Hyundai is celebrating women in excellence. Thank you so much to Hyundai in partnership with our team Mamelodi Sundowns, we appreciate them more especially because it wasn’t an easy year for us.”

The 2021 CAF Women’s Champions League Goalkeeper of the tournament concluded by pleading for the culture of celebrating individuals whilst they are alive to continue. She emphasised that award
ceremonies like the Gauteng Sport Awards give hope to young people that look up to players, it shows them that their dreams are valid and shows them that hard work comes with rewards.