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06 March 2020 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Supplied
Nomsa Mathontsi
Nomsa Mathontsi has been training with the South African senior women’s football team since Monday (03/02).

Whether she takes to the field or not, being part of the senior national women’s soccer team is already an accomplishment, says Nomsa Mathontsi. 

The BAdmin student in Economic and Management Sciences has been chosen for the Banyana Banyana squad for the first time. They face Lesotho on Sunday, 8 March 2020 in an international friendly in Johannesburg. There could be two Kovsies on the field, as Mating Monokoane, another University of the Free State student, was selected for Lesotho’s team. Both of them are midfielders.

The 21-year-old Mathontsi, who has been part of the Kovsie football team since 2018, says it will be a dream come true for her to wear the national colours. “Even if I don't get to play, I will still be proud of myself for being able to take on the challenge of going to camp and giving myself a chance to show my talent.”

“We have been together since Monday, 2 March 2020 and it has been the best experience, especially the fact that football has put me in the high-performance centre (South African Football Association girls’ academy), and now I get an opportunity to be with Banyana for the first time.”

“I was shocked when I got the call, but excited to face the challenge because it's never easy to get a call-up to Banyana, you need to work for it,” she says.

According to Mathontsi, who grew up in Mamelodi, Pretoria, her first love was athletics, but that changed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I was an athlete back in primary school and it just so happened that I was selected to play football, which I never really enjoyed. I also had the opportunity to be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ceremonies, where I developed a love for football.”

News Archive

Young academic receives BRICS research funding
2017-04-13

Description: Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli  Tags: Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli

Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli and Dr Victor Okorie
from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning
at the University of the Free State.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

“It means a lot to me, as I am a young academic embarking on my postdoctoral research project. To be able to lead a team of researchers from various research institutions in South Africa is humbling.” This is what Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli had to say on being awarded a research grant by the South African BRICS Think Tank.

The think tank, in collaboration with the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), awarded the lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Free State (UFS) R150 000. She will spearhead a research project between BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) universities. “They have awarded me a three-month grant to facilitate a process of combining various research projects under the BRICS Academic Cluster,” Dr Mphambukeli said.

Platform provides collaboration

“The academic cluster provides a platform for researchers and academics to engage in ongoing collaboration,” she said. The grant will enable her and her research partner, Dr Victor Okorie, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the UFS, to put together a research proposal to be submitted at the end of May 2017. If successful, her team will conduct a research study across BRICS countries over a period of three years. It will be done in collaboration with various South African universities, who will form a team to collaborate with researchers from BRICS universities.

Great accomplishment for UFS
“The funds we have received are quite a great accomplishment for the UFS and our department,” Dr Okorie said. The UFS has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to emerging issues in BRICS politics and policies. “Our project looks at the provision of ecosystems, agriculture, and security and the UFS was chosen as the host institution.”

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