One of the teams to reckon with at the upcoming Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon is the South African National Women’s Football team, the Banyana Banyana (The Girls). Controlled by the South African Football Association (SAFA), the Banyana Banyana played their first official match on 30th May 1993 in Johannesburg against Swaziland where they won 14 – 0, a similar record they kept on 19th April, 2002 against Zimbabwe in Harare.
The team however suffered its greatest defeat on 7th September 2003 when they bowed down to China in Dalian on a score of 14 – 0. The South African National Women’s Football team has answered present at the Summer Olympics twice; the first time in 2012 in Great Britain and the second time in 2016 in Brazil where they came out overall tenth.
The team has never been part of the Female World Cup competition but they are ranked 48th position by FIFA with 1478 points, just after Cameroon. As concerns the Africa Women Cup of Nations, the Banyana Banyana made their first appearance in 1995 and have been present at the competition a total of ten times. The 2016 AFCON marks their 11th appearance at the competition.
One of the icons of the team is retired Portia Modise who quit international football in May 2015 after playing 124 matches and scoring 101 goals for South Africa. She was the first African player to score 100 international goals. Vera Pauw is head coach of the Banyana Banyana meanwhile Janine Van Wyk holds the position of team captain.
Below are the names of members of the team and their clubs:
- Andile Dlamini – South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
- Simphiwe Dludlu – South Africa TUKS Ladies FC
- Nothando Vilakazi – South Africa Palace Super Falcons
- Noko Matlou – South Africa Ma-Indies FC
- Janine Van Wyk – South Africa JVW FC
- Mamello Makhabane – South Africa JVW FC
- Lebogang Mabatle – South Africa University of Pretoria F.C.
- Lebogang Ramalepe – South Africa Ma-Indies FC
- Amanda Dlamini – South Africa JVW FC
- Silindile Ngubane – South Africa Durban Ladies FC
- Thembi Kgatlana – South Africa TUT
- Portia Modise – South Africa Croesus FC
- Gloria Thato – South Africa University of Pretoria F.C.
- Sanah Mollo – South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
- Refiloe Jane – South Africa VUT Ladies
- Roxanne Barker – Iceland Þór/KA
- Leandra Smeda – South Africa UWC Ladies
- Mpumi Nyandeni – South Africa JVW FC
- Ode Fulutudilu – South Africa Spurs Ladies FC
- Shiwe Nongwanya – South Africa Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies