7 August 2020 She started playing football as a defender and at times as a striker but former Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies team coach Brian Dube (late) converted the tall Andile Dlamini to goalkeeping position.

My conversion from being an infield player to goalkeeper reads like a fairy tale. Our regular keeper would arrive at training or matches late and coach Brian suggested that I take over that position. The rest, as they say, is history.

Apart from manning the goals for SAFA National Women’s League champions Sundowns, Dlamini is busy cementing her position as Banyana Banyana’s trusted goal-minder.

Taking one through her exciting life journey, Andile is one person who is any journalist’s ideal interviewee. She provides great quotable quotes and keeps the interviewer on the edge with her great storytelling skills.

The Tembisa-born goalkeeper is among those who lead the team in daily prayers and is an avid singer.

In short, she is multi-talented and enjoys every moment of her life.

“My mom has always been my biggest supporter and fan and she is the one who bought my very first football boots,” said Dlamini who said the football bug got into her when she was playing street football with her uncles.

“I would be drafted into boys’ street teams and that is where I realised my abilities; thereafter one thing led to the other. Today, this sport has given me so much,” said the Banyana Banyana shot-stopper.

“I have made a huge difference in my family as the first-born, I bought my mum a land in Winterveld in Pretoria and I am building her a house.

“During my spare time, I coach a division of JVW team in Randburg having been introduced to this coaching aspect by owner Janine van Wyk and manager Lauren Duncan. I have a SAFA D licence coaching badge and I want to specialise mostly on coaching goalkeepers,” added Dlamini.

She says she also wants to venture big-time into her singing career.

“I sing a variety of inspirational music, I entertain and educate in what I sing and in my music is about real-life happenings. There is no particular philosophy in my music, it is a mixture of life experiences because I am one person who loves to learn, learn and learn on a daily basis. I move with times.”

On her message to the fellow women on this Women’s Month, Andile had this to say.

“We must continue working hard as women. Nothing comes on a silver platter. We are the future of any nation, mothers of the nation and we wield so much power. The future belongs to women,” said Dlamini.

“This is our month but not only this month but every second of the hour, every day of the month and every month throughout the year should be dedicated to women and children. No violence against women and children, don’t abuse women and children.”

In conclusion, Andile said she was grateful for the amount of effort and dedication to women football put by the national association, SAFA.

“SAFA needs our unqualified appreciation. Their dedication to women empowerment is second to none. They have set up a national women’s league, a first on the continent. I also want to thank Mamelodi Sundowns. They are really looking after us.

“Finally, as women and as a nation, we must work hard and be disciplined especially in these trying times.”