9 April 2021 – She is known to many as Dunga, but her official name is Nthabeleng Modiko, and she is the coach of Wits Ladies FC.
Dunga took the reign of the University side at the beginning of March in 2017.
She made her name when she used to run up and down at left back for the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana – having made her debut in 2006 and went to be capped 24 times.
Dunga hung up her boots after the 2011 All-Africa Games that were hosted by Mozambique.
They finished fourth after going down 2-0 to Algeria.
A year earlier, she captained the national team to third position in the 2010 Women’s African Football Championship held in South Africa.
Fast forward to 2021, and she is now in charge of Wits Ladies FC – where she is imparting her knowledge to the new generation of players in the Sasol League, which returns after just over a year of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dunga told her club’s website:
“This opportunity [coaching Wits Ladies] couldn’t have come at a better time because I’ve been thinking about putting into practice what I’ve learnt within the coaching courses that I’ve completed,” said Modiko, who boasts a SAFA D License.
“Wits has the potential of being one of the powerhouses, however, it’s still being regarded as an underdog, and I like that because that relates closely to how people view me as a coach [as] their yet [to unravel what it is that I have to offer].”
Dunga also holds a Bcomm Accounting degree from the University of Free State in 2007.
She spoke to SAFA Media ahead of the start of the 2021 Sasol League season.
How are you feeling?
I think I’m speaking on behalf of many when I say I’m ecstatic about the resumption of the league. It’s been over a year that we last participated competitively due to the pandemic. It has indeed been a tough time, but gratitude goes to the department of Sports, the South African Football Association (SAFA) and our proud sponsor SASOL that we still have this prestigious event to take part in. I wish the league all the success, and best of luck to my team, Wits University Ladies F.C
With Covid-19 still around us, how are you (the team) looking forward to the new season?
We have done a lot to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe by adhering to the rules as stated by the authorities through: staying home; sanitizing thoroughly and keeping social distance. We had to close down the training facilities as requested and that meant a lot of our players relied on individual sessions, which was tough seeing that football is a group sport. I must mention, the players got frustrated with competing with no opponents in their private residences, so we are really looking forward to this new season. We have been counting down the weeks to days and it’s now a few hours to go. We hope our preparation can prove us best amongst the rest in this season.
How did you keep busy during the non-activity period?
As mentioned, a lot of individual sessions, small group sessions (once allowed) and a lot of private and group consultations with the technical staff and players. A lot of “classroom” sessions had to take place without any activity and I think much as the team struggled, these sessions helped in the tough times.
What can we expect from the league this season?
We intend to put our best foot forward for our matches to try and get the best results. Of course the desire is to finish better than our previous season (5th), which was our debut in this big league. We love to represent our institution and club in excellence, so we are aiming at playing our best football every match.
For further information please contact:
SAFA: Head of Communications
Mobile: +27 71 332 9886
On behalf of Sasol:
Mobile: +27 82 7444 919