This month we feature a young rising star making waves in the SAFA Women’s League and the national team. Hildah Magaia, a TUT ladies and Banyana Banyana attacker who was also nominated for the Women’s Footballer of the Season at the 2019 South African Football Journalists Association Awards chats to our Sports Editor Shadrack “Shaq” Ngako The Village Mag in this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.

Hilda Magaia during one of her matches playing for Tshwane University of Technology ladies soccer.
Image: Supplied

For years’ women have preached for equality in every aspect of life, chanting “what men can do, we can do better”. European countries have invested so much in women football over the years and women are treated the same way men are. Countries like England have adopted the female football teams and participates in the same magnitude of tournaments as their counterparts, the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, FA CUP and there’s even a trophy awarded to the best women footballer in the world by FIFA.

2018 saw the first ever winner of the Women Ballon d’Or prestigious accolade which was Ada Herzberg of Norway who currently plays for Olympique Lyonnais. The recent one was won in 2019 by Megan Rapinoe of the United States of America. Here in South Africa, it is a different story in terms of investment in the lady’s soccer, so far with only Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtics – the two Premier Soccer League powerhouses having teams which ply their trades in the SAFA National Women’s League. More is still needed.

South Africa has in the past unearthed its own talent from grassroots level, the likes of Desiree Elis, who is currently the Women national team coach, Portia Modise, Amanda Dlamini, Noko Matlou and Simphiwe Dludlu who is the coach of the Under 17 women national coach. Recently, we have sent few ladies to play abroad as well, the likes of Thembi Kgatlana, Leandra Smeda and Refilwe Jane, just to name a few – are some of the ladies with contracts with teams overseas.

Shaq: Welcome to The Village Mag Hildah.

Hildah: Thank you Shaq, I am happy to be here.

Shaq: Who is Hildah and what is she all about?

Hildah: My name is Hildah Tholakele Magaia, I was born on the 12th December 1994 in a village called Dennilton at Mpheleng, Limpopo province. Currently I play for Moroko BK in Sweden, previously I played for the Tshwane University of Technology ladies football team. Moreover, I am Banyana Banyana player.

Shaq: How do you juggle football and varsity?

Hildah: Well at first it was a mission but I came up with an idea on how to juggle both. I prepare myself for the upcoming tests weeks before just to avoid getting caught in a moment where I stress about studying and having to train. However, they give us time to study in our team so not all is bad.

Shaq: Are there any gender challenges that has so far been a challenge for you?

Hildah: No, not that I remember.

Shaq: In your opinion, are you satisfied with the level of women’s football in our country?

Hildah: Definitely not, because I believe we should be treated the same way our male counterparts are treated. But recently with how things are going I believe we will get there with the likes of Portia Modise being on board to get us where we should be, but sponsorships should also come to the fold.

Shaq: What do you think is the quickest way to break into the national team set up?

Hildah: There isn’t, but hard work, discipline and perseverance are the only way to break in to the national team. Ensuring that one puts 100% both at training and games. 

Shaq: If given a chance to change anything in the FIFA Laws of the game, what would it be?

Hildah: Play for 100 minutes instead of the normal 90, you know there are those games you wish could continue beyond the normal time.

Shaq: Who or what is your lucky charm which supported you in your life the most?

Hildah: My mother, I cannot ask for more.

Shaq: What is your dream team to play for and why?

Hildah: Any team in Europe, because I want to experience the kind of play that other countries have and also be able to come back with that experience and help our national team when given the chance.

Shaq: Do you have a dream place you would like to visit?

Hildah: Yes, Italy.

Shaq: Who do you think is the most underrated player you played with or against?

Hildah: Thembeka Mohale, my team mate. She is a great footballer.

Shaq: What is your biggest achievement as a footballer?

Hildah: Scoring 36 goals for the league last season, and also earning myself 14 Banyana-Banyana caps.

Shaq: The impact of covid-19 in your life in general….

Hildah: Coronavirus has hit us with a surprise and I never thought I will ever find myself in a situation where I have to fight for my existence each day, traveling with fear and not knowing if you will be alive the next day. But God will never give us problems we cannot handle, he always has a way no matter what.

Shaq: What does the future holds for Hildah?

Hildah: I can only dream and predict but God decides, so whatever God has for me I will accept with both hands.

Shaq:  Are you active on social media? How can people follow you?

Hildah: People can follow me on Facebook and Instagram using my full names on both accounts, Hildah Tholakele Magaia.

Shaq: All the best in your future, and take care of yourself Hildah.

Hildah: Thank you Shaq and The Village Mag team.

When country duty calls, you heed the call. Hildah donning the colors of Banyana Banyana where to date she has 14 caps. Image: Supplied

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