Noxolo and Sinoxolo were an integral part of the South African under-20 team that was crowned champions at the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games last month. The girls in green and yellow beat hosts Botswana 1-0 in the final. With Banyana Banyana making history by qualifying for their first Fifa World Cup next year, the twins are hoping they make it on to the plane to France.
The twins, who are pupils at Fezeka Secondary School in Gugulethu, helped team South Africa top the overall standings. Team SA bagged 148 medals across the nine sporting codes they took part in. Noxolo said Basetsana, as the women’s under-20 are known, played well but could have done better when moving forward.
“It was not only about doing well but to enjoy ourselves and making new friendships. I could not have asked for a better way to end off my season,” said Noxolo, who has been playing for Sasol Women’s League side Cape Town Roses since 2011.
Noxolo, a midfielder, and Sinoxolo, a striker, won a treble with Cape Town Roses in 2014.
They won the Sasol Women’s League, the Coke Cup and the National League Play-offs. A year later, the twins represented South Africa for the first time in an under-17 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.
However, they would have hoped for a better start to their international career after South Africa went down 6-0 in the first leg and 1-0 in the second. In 2017, the twins also represented the country during the U20 World Cup qualifiers and were yet again unable to qualify for the tournament proper. Noxolo said she was grateful for what she had achieved but believed she still had a long road ahead.
“Singing the national anthem in front of your home supporters and wearing the national kit was something special. Hopefully, I can continue my hard work and get a call-up to Banyana Banyana,” she said.
Like most soccer players, the soft-spoken girls started playing soccer in the streets and, like they say, the rest is history.
“My sister and I grew up playing street soccer with our brother Lungile Mayekiso.
“When we started playing soccer, we never had boots but made the most of playing in our takkies,” said Sinoxolo, who credits her brother Mayekiso with their success. Mayekiso is a midfielder who has had stints with PSL side Chippa United and National First Division outfit Mthatha Bucks. He currently plies his trade with ABC Motsepe League team Zizwe United.
“He is a good and smart player. He makes valuable sacrifices just to get to training, which motivates me,” she said.