Deputy minister Pinky Kekana proud of son’s display at Afcon

Deputy Minister in the Presidency Pinky Kekana was one of the first people to arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to welcome Bafana Bafana after an amazing performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

The beaming Kekana, a former deputy minister of communications, was at the airport to embrace her son, Bafana hero and defender Grant Kekana, who contributed immensely to the team finishing third and winning a bronze medal at the tournament.

The Mamelodi Sundowns defender is one of the most fortunate players to have grown up with such a solid support structure since he was a boy.

Stability in Bafana’s defence

After starting the tournament on the bench, Kekana was roped in for the second match to stabilise the Bafana defence, and he passed the assignment with flying colours.

He even risked his position on the field when he took one for the team and got a red card, which kept Bafana in the game against Cape Verde in the quarterfinals.

The defender was lauded for his bravery by the likes of EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema, among others.

Since his days at AmaTuks and later at SuperSport United, Kekana’s career has grown by leaps and bounds since he joined the Brazilians three seasons ago.

His ecstatic mother opened up to Sunday World: “As one of the parents, I regard the whole team as my kids because, in one way or another, I have always interacted with them, whether in my house or elsewhere. So, I see them as my kids.”

The coach showed leadership

“They are a team that works together and that plays together. They support each other as well. I am not surprised with the results and how they performed because I know that once you are united, you can expect such an outcome.

“The team and the coach showed leadership, and our government and the whole country were behind the boys.

“Unfortunately, I could not go to the tournament in Ivory Coast because of work commitments. I would have loved to go, but I had pressing things that needed me to be around. I was always talking to him every day and giving him courage.

“Of course, I got mixed feelings when he received that red card, but everyone was telling me that it was for a good cause.

“I think it played out well, and they managed to proceed further in the tournament until they managed to get position three.”

Kekana explained that Grant always wanted to play football and that he really took the game seriously since he was a small boy.

He always wanted to play football

“He always wanted to be a football player. I am happy with his career and that he is now representing his country at this level,” she said.

“It is every mother’s dream coming true when they see their kids succeed in life. He is now among the crème de la crème.

“The future is looking bright, and the team has shown a level of discipline. We are proud of them and think they can still go a long way.

“They are the pride of the nation, and what they have started is unstoppable; they can achieve better than this in the future.”

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