Rhoda Mulaudzi says her father, Wilson, did not conform to the widely held belief in their village that football is a man’s game.
This Fathers’ Day, Mr Wilson Mulaudzi is her daughters’ hero and has been for many years now as the 30-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns and Banyana Banyana striker pays tribute to a man who broke the stereotype in Venda for her to do what she loves. It would have been even harder because, as Rhoda explains, they are from a royal family.
“In my football career and personal life, the person I consider to be a hero is my dad, Muvhango Wilson Mulaudzi, because he raised me, supported me and taught me how to play soccer even though where I come from – the villages from a royal family – they didn’t want girls to play soccer,” she explains.
“The only thing we knew was doing royal duties, kitchen chores and preparing one’s self for marriage but my dad wasn’t really for that so instead he told me to follow my heart and do what makes me happy.”
Rhoda, a member Banyana’s first-ever World Cup squad in France last year, still very much enjoys that support and her father remains one of her biggest inspirations – helping her live her dream from Venda to Paris.
“He never turned his back on me as he assisted me with transport money or took me to and from training and games. Even now he is still supportive because he motivates me and ensures that I keep fit all the time even under lockdown. My dad is my super hero,” she says.