Akhona Makalima wants to be emulated. She is in fact the first female referee to be certified as a referee in South Africa. She is one of the references of women’s refereeing in Africa. Despite this, the role of women in South African football continues to be debated.
She grew up in the poor community of Nqamakwe in the Eastern Cape. In her youth, she certainly had athleticism and speed, but Akhona had little or no access to sports programs. She still played football with the Thunderbirds and then in Eastern Cape.
She then decided to become a referee. Success to follow, and it is recognized in South African football. THE’33-year-old referee acts as a model.
According to her, her success must push other women to dare and put themselves forward. “Most jobs in male-dominated fields require women to work twice as much. Because we start back. You know you are denied opportunities because you are a woman“, she says.
Akhona Makalima does not stop there. She also thinks that we always met men before women. For her, the prejudices must end. “Assuming men are more familiar with the game and as a woman you always have to prove yourself no matter how good you are. When you and a man get the same results on the evaluations, you should do everything to confirm that you are better because they will choose the man if you don’t. “
Women must work major
Akhona Makalima, however, does not advocate for women to occupy positions just because they are women. Above all, she does not want her fellows to settle into a certain laziness. She wants to urge them to work and also to make sacrifices. “VYou have to work on yourself to prove to yourself that you can do it. You have to stop doubting and own your abilities. The sports industry is fraught with gender issues and many women are told over time that they weren’t good enough“.
She does not hesitate to thunder but her own example to serve as a model. Nowadays, the struggle of women for positions of responsibility is at the heart of the debates. So she wants women who want to put themselves forward to be able to have role models to lean on. ” I worked hard to be here, and I didn’t want to come here just being a quota or filling in numbers. I want equality because I am equal in strength, ability and desire. You have to invest in yourself to say that you are able to occupy that kind of space.“
Akhona Makalima is one of the referees who will lead the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. The competition will take place in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.