30 January 2019 – The Sisulu Family says they are deeply touched by the kind gesture from the South African Football Association (SAFA) in remembering Mama Albertina with a football match featuring Banyana Banyana and Sweden in what was called the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge.
The clash took place in Cape Town on Tuesday, 22 January 2019.
It ended goalless.
The family says it is grateful for what Banyana Banyana has done and feels it was very appropriate as she was an avid sportswoman.
“Banyana Banyana as a team has flown the South African flag with pride. As a nation, we shine on their reflected glory. Our gratitude also goes to MaSisulu for being a unifying icon, a community and nation builder,” said Duma Sisulu, a family representative.
“The Sisulu family is deeply honoured that SAFA has chosen to commemorate our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother through the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge in Cape Town. Few know that she was an avid sportswoman. As a child, she rode horses in her childhood village of Xolobe in the Eastern Cape. At school she swam and played tennis, a game she continued to play while training as a nurse in Johannesburg in the 1940s.”
2018 marked the centenary years of the late former President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, as well as Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu.
SAFA has been commemorating Nelson Mandela every year with the Nelson Mandela Challenge since 1994 featuring Bafana Bafana, and have now added the Winnie Mandela International Challenge, which will see Banyana Banyana play annually against overseas opposition.
Also remembered, as part of the centenary year celebrations was MaSisulu in the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge, which was a once off match.
“Today we enjoy the freedom we have in the country, and in particular football, because of the selflessness and sacrifices of people like MaSisulu, and so it is only fitting for SAFA to do our bit in honouring, remembering and keeping her legacy alive. We would like to thank the family for coming on board to make this a great success,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“We are also proud to join millions of South Africans in the celebrations of the Centenary year of MaSisulu. She displayed great courage as she dedicated her life to the emancipation of women and all South Africans, and Banyana Banyana’s clash against Sweden was our way of adding our voice in celebrating her for the strong foundations she laid.”
Duma Sisulu added that MaSisulu will always be remembered for the huge role she played in the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
“She will always be remembered for organizing women – across race, class and religious beliefs – she believed in the unity of women and the equality of all humanity. MaSisulu is best known as an acclaimed political icon, as well as a midwife and nurse who delivered many babies, some of who grew up to be freedom fighters and respected leaders in our society,” added Duma Sisulu.
“In her quest for a non-racial, non-violent and a non-sexist South Africa, she fought fiercely for the human rights of both men and women yet the struggle for equality between men and women in sports continues. We need to continue the struggle for equal support and sponsorship for our women athletes.”