Katlego Malebane Reflects on CAF African Schools Football Championship Title

Katlego Malebane has continued to reflect on the success enjoyed at the recent CAF African Schools Football Championship, where she led South Africa to victory in the four-day competition held in Tanzania.

The 15-year-old, one of the fast-rising talents currently nurtured within the thriving Mamelodi Sundowns youth system, captained the team to glory and has expressed delight with the performance.

“I feel very proud of myself for being able to lead my team to victory in the CAF Championship and for having my first captaincy in the national team, bringing a gold medal and trophy to South Africa. It was a humbling and emotional experience,” Malebane stated.

After drawing 1-1 against Uganda in their opening game, South Africa secured a 1-0 victory over Gambia in their second game and a 0-0 draw against Togo in their third game.

Katlego went on to score in the final against Morocco. However, the North Africans equalized, and with the game ending 1-1, penalties decided the winner. The Sundowns youngster danced before slotting her penalty and fondly reflected on what inspired the dance.

“My brother was the main inspiration. We have been practicing this penalty dance since we were young and always said that one day if one of us played in a big tournament or game, we should do the penalty dance,” she said excitedly.

The Limpopo-born youngster also described what the victory in Tanzania meant for her confidence, “It has skyrocketed; it gives me even more confidence to win bigger trophies in the future for my country,” she said.

She emphasized the significance of the achievement not just for her personal growth but also for inspiring other young players in South Africa. “This victory shows that with hard work and dedication, we can achieve great things. I hope my success encourages other young girls to pursue their dreams in football,” she added.

Malebane’s journey is a testament to the thriving youth development programs in South Africa, particularly within the Mamelodi Sundowns system. As she continues to rise through the ranks, she remains focused on her goals and committed to her team’s success.

Looking ahead, Katlego is determined to build on this experience and set her sights on even greater accomplishments. “This is just the beginning. I want to keep improving, help my team win more Championships, and one day represent South Africa at the highest levels of international football,” she concluded.