6 August 2019 – It’s been 14 year since she made her first appearance for Banyana Banyana, and midfielder Mamello Makhabane has had some ups and downs.
She earned her first cap in 2005 in a 9-0 victory over Zimbabwe at the Isaac Steyn Stadium under the late Styles Phumo.
Jabu, as she is affectionately known to her teammates, scored a hattrick in that game, and away with the Player of the Match.
Following that high, she had a long and bumpy road to get to her 100thcap – her injury-plagued career made her miss several tournaments, including the London 2012 Olympic Games.
But with her never-say-die attitude, Makhabane kept on working hard and made the Rio 2016 Olympic Games squad.
When she thought she was over her injuries, she almost missed out on the 2018 Women’s AFCON, where Banyana Banyana finished second and qualified for their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup, a tournament she also almost never attended and had to race against time to recover from injury.
Makhabane joins an elite group of players who have reached the 100-cap milestone – Janine van Wyk (170 caps), Noko Matlou (160), Nompumelelo Nyandeni (149), Nothando Vilakazi (132), Portia Modise – retired (124), Refiloe Jane (110) and Amanda Dlamini – retired (105).
MAKHABANE TOP HONOURS:
- 2006 AWCON 3rd Place
- 2006 All Africa Games Champion
- 2007/08 Vodacom National Champion
- 2008 COSAFA U-20 Champion
- 2009 Sasol National Championship Runners-up (Palace Super Falcons)
- 2010/2011/ 2012 Sasol League National Champions (Palace Super Falcons)
- 2011 COSAFA Runners-up
- 2010 AWCON 3rd Place
- 2016 Rio Olympics
- 2018 AWCON 2nd Place
- 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Here is Makhabane’s story: