Magaia: Boos unleashed the beast in me

Banyana Banyana striker Hildah Magaia has for the first time described the intimidating and overwhelming atmosphere during the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations(Wafcon) at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, when SA played against hosts Morocco last Saturday night.

“The stadium was full to capacity with local fans rooting for their team, and when we touched the ball we were booed. It was intimidating and we somehow felt overwhelmed by the occasion, especially when we were booed,” said Magaia.

But she also said the boos unleashed the beast in her, something that only her lecturers, coaches and peers at her alma mater Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) know she has in her.

“I’ve never seen so many people at a stadium for a women’s football game but the passion of my teammates unleashed a beast in me. We had a job to do. I told myself that if not today, when?”

Magaia graduated twice at TUT with a diploma and an advanced diploma in officiating and coaching science last year.

It was also the first time at the final that she played with her new boots, which she said she changed in the second half for her old and trusted pair that she used to score her brace, ensuring South Africa’s victory and as crowning the queens of the Wafcon 2022.

Magaia, her captain Refiloe Jane and defender Nomvula Kgoale were celebrated at a cocktail party at the varsity’s main campus in Pretoria on Friday.

Vice-chancellor Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, Pretoria campus rector Prof Ingrid Makgoba and acting executive director of student affairs Dr Shadrack Nthangeni led the celebration.

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