Extraordinary colours, creativity, vibrancy and football passion, were the order of the opening round of the MTN8 over the past weekend, with female fans attending the MTN8 quarterfinal matches clad in their spectacular club regalia and remaining true to the theme of Wafa Wafa, as the best dressed four were honoured by MTN.
The passionate female football fans, who attended the matches, showed their enthusiastic support for soccer and were rewarded with a special competition – Female Fan of the Match! The chosen ladies dressed in remarkable fan regalia won R16 000 in the MTN8 Female Fan of the Match competition, half of which they will share with a charity organisation of their choice that caters for women and children.
“MTN8 is about the passion and the love for football,” says Brian Gouldie, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN SA. “The MTN8 Female Fan of the Match competition celebrates women’s support for soccer in the spirit of Women’s Month of August while making a difference in the communities we operate in.
MTN female representatives, who attended the four exciting quarterfinal matches, chose the winners at the four stadiums this past weekend. The winnings fans are those that had gone the extra mile to stand out on the day.
Friday, 9th August, saw Mamello Makha, take home the winner’s cheque of R16 000 on Woman’s Day. The die-hard Bloemfontein Celtic fan from the Free State but now residing in Johannesburg, is a sports management student at the University of Johannesburg, came to the Bidvest stadium for their cup clash against Bidvest Wits clad in a smartly designed Bermuda jump-suit decked with green and white stripes of Celtic colours, football socks, a green tie and a striking gigantic Mexican hat.
Commenting after receiving her prize, Mamello said: “I was inspired by the Mexicans during the 2010 World Cup to look striking when attending games and also, their big hats looked very cool and I thought I could create one for myself and localise it, too. I urge women to look into sports for work opportunities, there’s so much value we can add in this field and the game allows for many growth opportunities,” she concluded.
Mamello started supporting Celtic at a tender age of seven, thanks to her mother who was a food vendor outside the football stadium near her home and only started gaining popularity as a female football fan towards the end of 2008. She plans to use her winnings to give back to the company that took her to school, Big Bravo construction, to afford kids who come to the company after her to benefit from the same generosity.
On match day 2, Saturday, 10 August, MTN named Chairmane Mahlomuza the Female Fan of the Match at the Kaizer Chiefs versus University of Pretoria at the FNB stadium. The uniquely dressed insurance consultant from Mamelodi West, jumped with ecstasy from the stands at halftime when her photo was beamed on the big screen for all to see her win the prize on the night. “This is amazing, I never thought for a moment I’d win such a big prize for merely attending my favourite club’s match,” she said with tears of joy. Chairmane’s outfit was inspired by a piece worn by musician Lira at a recent music awards ceremony and after seeing it, the ardent Kaizer Chiefs supporter got her dress-maker to design it adding elements of the Amakhosi logo stylishly from top to bottom.
“The prize came at such an opportune time as I’ve been looking at installing a new gate at my mother’s house and putting paving around the yard for her too, this is simply too good to be true from MTN, she added.
Earlier in the day, Cecilia Pot from the Masosobane Village in Phokeng became the recipient of the Female Fan prize for her outfit, which comprised of a mining overall, a makarapa, in Platinum Stars colours, all put together courtesy of her newly wedded husband. “This is a really awesome prize. I feel honoured by the sponsors and the football fraternity and I thank my husband for charming me with such a cool football outfit that I now spot at the stadium whenever our boys are in action.
Cecilia, who works for the health and social development department for the Royal Bafokeng, will use the money to support her home based care NGO that caters for HIV positive people that she started upon the passing of her sister in 2004.
I only came to support my team today and now I get this prize, unbelievable really, and this will come in handy to help me renovate my house,” she said.
At the last quarterfinal on Sunday, 12 August, Elizabeth Ngoato, a mother of two children and a diehard SuperSport United fan for the past decade, was awarded the Female Fan of the Match award during the Orlando Pirates versus SuperSport United tie in Mbombela. “I’m pleased to have been acknowledged as the best dressed female fan among the thousands that descended to Mbombela,” she said afterwards. “I’m thrilled at having won this prize and can say with a big smile that my winnings will assist me to complete paying school fees for my children this year and while I encourage all women to be bold and believe in themselves in their various fields, we’ve got to support each other,” she concluded.
The stories of triumph and the spirit of endurance, that have come to the fore after MTN awarded the female fans their prizes and hearing about some of the charitable causes they wish to donate half of their prize to, demonstrates that women hold a special place in society as the backbone of communities.
“The Female Fan of the Match competition will continue during the semi-finals of MTN8 that will be played in August,” notes Pooe. “MTN SA would like to call on more passionate female supporters to come to the stadiums in large showing their passion for football by wearing spectacular fan regalia,” Gouldie concludes.