Many would have expected Bafana, the South African national football team, to be the ones making history at the continental showpiece. However, it was Dlamini, a retired professional footballer, who beat them to it during the first round of games. Since retiring in 2018, Dlamini has become a prominent football analyst and commentator for SuperSport, covering various CAF club competitions and joining CAF analysts at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
In an emotional interview on the CAF website, Dlamini expressed her feelings about the opportunity: “I knew it was the biggest day of my life to commentate on a Men’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations. When I was told I would be commentating at AFCON, I was overwhelmed but tried to stay calm. I didn’t want to let it get to my head because of how emotional the moment was. I hope this historic moment opens doors for more women to believe in their abilities and talents,” said the legendary player, who was born in KwaZulu Natal.
Dlamini grew up in Harding, a rural town in KZN, and has fond memories of Bafana Bafana’s 1996 Africa Cup of Nations home triumph. As a child, she recalls her parents going to refill the car battery so the family could watch the games on TV. Dlamini also remembers a particular incident where her mother accidentally burnt uPhuthu, a traditional South African dish, twice because the game was so intense. She added, “I remember my dad picking me up and tossing me in the air after the final whistle.”
During her career, Dlamini represented the South African women’s national team, Banyana Banyana, earning 105 caps. She played in two Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, helping the team finish third in 2010 and second in 2012.
Overall, Dlamini’s journey as a player and now a commentator has been filled with remarkable moments and emotions. She hopes that her achievements will inspire other women to believe in their own abilities and pursue their dreams.