/ 29 September 2023

Momentum gsport Awards 2023

Owning their success: South African sportswomen celebrate being recognised for their achievements at the gsport Awards.

Women own their success at 2023 Momentum gsport Awards

South African women in sport celebrated The Year of Women’s Sport in style at the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards, as stars across sporting codes boldly owned their success on the red carpet of Africa’s leading women’s sport recognition platform.

Once again, the awards campaign celebrated the power of recognition as 27 winners emerged on stage on 12 September 2023 after 60 finalists went head-to-head for glory in 20 public categories. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture presented five Ministerial Recognition of Excellence awards to deserving individuals. 

Football emerged the big winner as champion Mamelodi Sundowns and Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini won Momentum Athlete of the Year. Banyana Banyana won Team of the Year, Desiree Ellis won Coach of the Year, and Sasol won Nielsen Sports South Africa Sponsor of the Year.

Here’s a quick look at #gsport18 winners:

Momentum Athlete of the Year

Andile Dlamini


Andile Dlamini’s impact as an ambassador and player is undeniable. The Golden Glove winner at WAFCON 2022 achieved accolades such as the People’s Choice Award at SA Sports Awards and Sports Personality of the Year at AUSC Region 5 Awards. Her commitment to excellence is evident in every stride.

Telkom Woman of the Year 

Natasha Petersen


Natasha Petersen’s prowess in the sports industry shines bright. With dedication and passion, she has excelled on the events team of three World Cups in a single year — the FIFA Men’s World Cup, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, and FIFA Women’s World Cup. Her continuous drive for excellence is an inspiration to all.

Global Woman in Sport 

Leila Steyn-Daku


Leila Steyn-Daku’s trailblazing journey reached new heights as she became the first black woman from South Africa and the first woman from CSA to permanently join the ICC. Her rapid promotion within six months is a testament to her exceptional abilities and her inspirational impact on the world of sport.

Supersport Woman in TV

Vusiwe Ngcobo


Vusiwe Ngcobo’s influence in television broadcasting is undeniable. As an SABC Sports and SABC News Broadcaster, she is making significant strides for women’s sport. Leading by example, she is leaving an indelible mark in this fast-paced industry.

DP World African Woman in Sport

Faith Kipyegon


Faith Kipyegon’s journey has been one of record-breaking triumphs. The Kenyan middle- and long-distance runner holds the 1500m and 5000m World Records, and the Women’s Mile Record. Her exceptional achievements have redefined the boundaries of athletic excellence.

Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year

Kgothatso Montjane

Wheelchair tennis

Kgothatso Montjane’s dream became a reality with her historic achievements. As the first South African female to win a Grand Slam Title since 1981, she clinched the 2023 Roland Garros Wheelchair Doubles Title. With an impressive track record, including the French Riviera Wheelchair Doubles Title and a Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Runner-Up, KG’s impact is immeasurable.

Supersport School Sport Star of the Year

Alicia Khunou

Discus/shot put

Record-breaking athlete Alicia Khunou dominates in discus; she secured second place globally for shot put and discus in her age group (U18). With achievements spanning the African continent and the global stage, Khunou’s remarkable journey is an ongoing testament to her potential and excellence.

Mail & Guardian Woman in Print

Lethabo Kganyago

Football Journalist

In the realm of football journalism, Lethabo Kganyago shines as a remarkable voice. In a male-dominated industry, she is a standout, covering women’s football for iDiski Times and bringing new talent to light by showcasing the Motsepe Foundation Championship.

Nielsen Sports SA Sponsor of the Year



Sasol stands as a trailblazer in women’s football sponsorship. Over 12 years, their unwavering support has propelled Banyana Banyana to a formidable global presence. From grassroots to national levels, Sasol’s sponsorship empowers women’s football, notably backing Banyana Banyana, Sasol League and the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team.

Emerging Athlete of the Year

Kyra van Kan


Golf’s rising star Kyra van Kan started 2023 at the pinnacle, ranked No.1 in both the GolfRSA Open and Junior rankings. Winning the SA Woman’s Amateur SA Championship and consistently securing Top 3 finishes in Open and Junior circuits, she’s a beacon of leadership, captaining the SA Junior Protea girl’s team to victory at the All-Africa Junior Team Championship.

Women in PR and Sponsorship

Emy Casaletti-Bwalya


As CEO of Optimize Marketing Agency, Emy Casaletti-Bwalya is a powerhouse in PR and Sponsorship. Her adeptness in advocating partnerships for athletes within her portfolio is widely recognised, respected and admired. Her work paves the way for athlete empowerment and brand building.

Women in Radio

Rachel Makhura


Rachel Makhura is a voice that resonates on Radio 2000, hosting weekend sports and the sports wrap. With her show Know your Netball, she educates listeners about the sport and engages with diverse guests, contributing to a deeper understanding of the game.

Women in Social Media

Jessica Nkomo


“Aunty Diski” Jessica Nkomo masterfully employs social media to amplify awareness and brand visibility. With a strong presence, she advocates for women’s sport, providing unwavering support and boosting the media presence of sportswomen, contributing to their growth and recognition.

Special Recognition Award

Brenda Mafunisa


Brenda “Superwoman” Mafunisa’s unwavering commitment to girls’ empowerment in Northern Cape sport is nothing short of inspirational. Her tireless advocacy for financial assistance and proper equipment has transformed opportunities for girls in sport. A role model and catalyst for growth, she embodies the spirit of dedication and progress.

Supporter of the Year  

Mama Joy Chauke

Women’s Sport

Mama Joy Chauke is the “extra player” whose vibrant energy elevates every match. Her unparalleled passion and sporting spirit create a unique atmosphere. A true ambassador of women’s sport, her commitment, loyalty, and cross-country support showcase the extraordinary impact of a dedicated supporter.

Volunteer of the Year

Mpho Makhoba


Bella Mpho Makhoba’s heart shines through her work. Founder of Hammanskraal Tennis Club, she wears many hats — teacher, coach, mentor and fundraiser. Her selfless commitment ensures that children thrive academically and athletically. Investing her own funds, she’s a beacon of empowerment, lighting the way for young talent.

Style Star of the Year

Nqobile Khwezi


Nqobile Khwezi’s unique style is a captivating blend of beauty and grace. On-screen, she radiates elegance that inspires everyone to effortlessly merge sportiness with striking elegance. Her presence serves as a reminder that style knows no boundaries.

Federation of the Year

Cricket South Africa


Cricket South Africa’s landmark achievements in 2023 were nothing short of extraordinary. Hosting record-breaking ICC U19 and Senior Women’s T20 World Cups elevated the sport globally, while the Proteas Women’s historic Cricket World Cup finals appearance marked a milestone for South African cricket on the world stage.

Coach of the Year

Desiree Ellis


Desiree Ellis made history in a whirlwind year, securing Banyana Banyana’s first-ever Women’s African Cup of Nations title and leading them to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Her accomplishments led to her receiving the gold Order of Ikhamanga, having firmly placed Banyana Banyana on the world stage.

Team of the Year

Banyana Banyana


Building on their FIFA World Cup debut in 2019, Banyana Banyana solidified their stature as Africa’s premier women’s football team in 2022. Their historic Women’s African Cup of Nations triumph earned them a second appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, underlining their relentless commitment to raising the profile of women’s football in South Africa.

gsport Hall of Fame

Blanche Moila


Blanche Moila’s journey shattered norms, from 1981 to becoming a grand-master. National titles, Springbok honours and records showcase her resilience. A mentor transcending sports, she inspires everyone around her. Moila’s Nike partnership nearly 40 years ago defied stereotypes. Her story continues to inspire, leaving an indelible mark on generations.

Public Choice Award

Netball South Africa


Netball South Africa’s dynamic year paved the way for Africa’s inaugural Netball World Cup. Engaging communities and forging impactful partnerships, they’ve ignited nationwide support. Their efforts signal a new era for netball, inspiring future generations while positioning South Africa favourably on the global stage.

Ministerial Recognition of Excellence Recipients

Banyana Banyana


African champions Banyana Banyana reached the knockout stage in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, becoming the first South African team to advance to this stage of the competition, with players such as Thembi Kgatlana and Hildah Magaia shining on the world stage.

Proteas Women


Proteas Women achieved an unprecedented feat as the first senior South African cricket team to reach a World Cup final. Their remarkable journey in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup culminated in a runner-up position, marking a historic moment in South African cricket history.

Spar Proteas


At Africa’s first ever Netball World Cup, the Spar Proteas secured a commendable sixth-place finish, showcasing their global competitiveness. With two prior podium finishes, they remain a formidable force in world netball.

SA Women’s Indoor Hockey Team


The SA Senior Women’s Indoor Hockey Team made history as the first African nation to reach the semi-finals. Defeating Belgium, they secured an impressive 4th place finish. Their silver medal wins at the Africa Cup in 2021 and 2017 further highlight their sustained excellence.



SuperSport committed to and delivered on its vision of an all-women broadcast team for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town. The pioneering female-led coverage at the 2023 Netball World Cup earned a nomination for “Best Sporting Event of the Year 2023” in the UK Sports Business Awards.

Unforgettable night for #gsport18 Award finalists

Youth stars emerge as Momentum gsport awards winners

The Momentum gsport Awards is a celebration of the incredible achievements and contributions of women in sport, and first-time attendees, Emerging Athlete of the Year Kyra van Kan and SuperSport Schools Sports Star Alicia Khunou found the experience nothing short of amazing. 

Van Kan was overwhelmed by the entire experience. “The experience for me was amazing,” said the break-through golfer. “Getting my makeup and hair professionally done was truly a treat and I don’t think I’ve ever looked so glammed up! The privilege of wearing a fancy dress and attending the red carpet really made me feel like a celebrity.”

Winning streak: Supersport Schools Sports Star Alicia Khunou (right) with her mother and coach Madeleine Songelwa Khunou.

The atmosphere of the event left a lasting impression on Van Kan. “It was incredible meeting new, inspiring women in sport, and I got goosebumps during the intro of the gsport Awards when the choir sang their beautiful song. The winners’ speeches were all so heartfelt, and I’m really glad I got to be there in person.” 

Reflecting on her expectations, Van Kan admitted that the actual night exceeded them: “The atmosphere was so much more vibrant, and everyone was super friendly and supportive. gsport held the Awards night much more efficiently than I thought, and I enjoyed every moment of it.”

For Khunou, the Momentum gsport Awards was a surreal experience: “The moment I got out of the car and saw all those beautiful women with their stunning makeup and dresses, it was surreal to see all that in person,” said Khunou. “It was like being surrounded by proud and accomplished women, sharing their experiences and celebrating together.”

The highlights of the Awards night for the globally-accomplished field athlete were the unity and joy that filled the room. Khunou explained: “The audience was my highlight. It was the most beautiful thing to see people from different areas coming together and celebrating. When the choir started singing, the audience stood up and sang along. It was really amazing.”

Attending the Awards ceremony also had a profound impact on Khunou’s perspective on women’s sport recognition. She explained: “To see the extent of the lack of recognition in society today was shocking and sad. It made me appreciate the respect I have for women’s sport even more, and made me grateful for what we have now.”

Emerging Athlete of the Year Kyra van Kan sees herself as an ambassador for gsport.

Regarding the contribution of the Momentum gsport Awards to the empowerment of women in sports, she emphatically stated: “The recognition first and foremost is huge. Feeling like whatever you do is being recognised by the world gives that extra kick to keep going. Hopefully, it will motivate and inspire other women and girls to tap into their own creativity and reach their [full] potential.”

An amazing fact of Khunou winning in 2023 is that her sister Lesedi, who shares their mom as coach, won the very same award in 2022! Khunou described the family’s winning streak as amazing, and expressed her admiration for her sister: “She set an amazing example of what an athlete should be, and I am in awe to be in the presence of greatness.”

The Momentum gsport Awards truly leave a lasting impact on the attendees, showcasing the power and achievements of women in sports. As these two remarkable athletes testified, it is a night filled with inspiration, celebration and a renewed drive to continue breaking barriers in women’s sport.

A glimpse into the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards

FUN WAS HAD! And I’m not only talking about the actual 2023 Momentum gsport Awards.

As a former winner on the Momentum gsport Awards stage, I’ve always seen myself as some kind of ambassador for gsport and a champion of women’s sport. There are many of those in the circle who are a lot more vocal than me on social media and I’ve taken a different approach; I’ve taken the conversation TO the media, and in Cape Town I’ve become known to be “that gsport girl” says Kyra van Kan.

Marisa Calvert (Woman in PR & Sponsorship 2019) Leila Steyn-Daku (Global Woman in Sport 2023) Ilhaam Groenewald (Ministerial Award Recipient 2019) Shamila Sulayman (Volunteer of the Year 2022).

During my discussions with gsport founder Kass Naidoo, she mentioned that she was thinking of announcing the nominees for 2023 in Cape Town. Immediately, we got to work and arranged a mini media tour to cover the nominations but also to celebrate being a woman in sport with the Cape Town ladies. Yup, two birds, one stone — my favourite way of doing things. 

Once nominations were launched, we quickly reached 500 nominations and the influx surpassed all the years before. There is an appetite for women’s sport, especially in “The Year of Women’s Sport!” and it took us a while to get here, but thank goodness we are here. 

Media quickly attached themselves to the brand and the firestorm of media activity started. It was like a fire was ignited somewhere because it spread like wildfire. Could it be because of the Year of Women’s Sport, or could it be that people are finally sitting up and realising that women’s sport is an investment, with a valid and strong fan base? I think it’s the latter. 

Fast forward to event night! If you haven’t been to a Momentum gsport Awards yet, you’re missing out! It is THE hottest event on the calendar and you don’t just buy a ticket. Attendees are carefully selected, and the VIPs are the finalists. The first time I attended was in 2018 as a finalist, 2019 as a winner and 2020 as a guest. This year I attended as part of the gsport team. A lot went on behind the scenes and everyone was all in — hands, knees, shoulders, thighs, head — the works! And everything went smoothly!

I landed in Johannesburg on the day of the awards and in true gsport style, I was transferred by private car to Just Tonight Josephine for my dress fitting. I love my pink but there is something about blue that is just so royal and within 30 minutes I had my gown, bought some earrings to match and off to the hotel I went. 

The hotel was a minute away from the Wanderers Club, where the awards were to be held later. As soon as I walked through the doors of the hotel, there was a buzz in the air. (I bumped into a running friend from home at the hotel, and he told me afterwards he thought it was the Miss SA pageant, lol!) I immediately spotted former winner and gsport champion, Selina Munsamy. We’ve become good friends through gsport and it’s always a treat seeing her. 

Everyone had to book for hair and make-up, and since I was not a finalist, I got all my stuff done as early as possible so that all the attention can be on the finalists when they come down for hair and make-up. Smart move, Marisa! My favourite moment was putting on that gown again. Although I packed in my heels, I have learned my lesson from attending previous years – them feet will burn! And given the responsibility of being the extra pair of hands and possible run-around, I was so happy I opted for sneakers. And it seemed like sneakers were the winner on the night because Andile Dlamini, Cecilia Molokwane and KG Montjane to name a few all arrived in the best sneakers. Yup! We know how to bring it in proper style and grace — you must just view the photos and peep our Instagram to see how you can wear evening gowns with a gorgeous pair of sneakers.

Every year the Momentum gsport Awards just gets better and better. Whenever you think “nah fam, there is no way one can top this year!”, they top it. Almost as if the gsport gods are overhearing the chitter-chatter and saying to themselves “challenge accepted”. 

It’s been a week since the amazing night and the media coverage is still buzzing. Our deserving winners are all over the show doing interviews from Dubai to Kenya to Cape Town to Johannesburg. You don’t only become an award winner, you become part of a special community that was created in 2006. We are a community that uplifts, shouts your name, gives you props, and celebrates you. We are that tiny voice in your head that tells you, YES YOU CAN. We are the community that holds space for you and values your contribution in making an impact to push women’s sport forward, so it becomes as equitable as it is supposed to be.

Congratulations to all the winners! And those who didn’t win – you were not overlooked but may this be a prompt for you to push harder and work with vigour, because the stage is set and your name is on that trophy. 

In 2007 there were six categories. Today, we have 20 categories! Let’s continue breaking those ceilings that people said we can’t. Because you know what? It has only just begun. Instead of waiting for space at the table, Kass and the rest of the gsport team, including all the sponsors like Momentum, Telkom, Brand SA, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, SuperSport, DP World and Nielsen Sports South Africa said: “We will build our own table and we will reign supreme!”

Empowering women in sport isn’t just about levelling the playing field; it’s about creating a stadium of opportunities where every woman’s talent can shine. Let’s amplify the roar of their achievements, so the world can hear the true sound of equality.

This article is dedicated to Rudene Hare. In the spirit of Rudene’s unwavering dedication and passion for women’s sports, let us carry her legacy forward as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us that when we amplify women’s sports, we amplify the strength and resilience within every athlete, every woman who works behind the scenes, and together, we rise to greater heights.

Natasha Petersen: ‘To own my success. This is huge!’

As the sporting world continues to evolve, behind every successful tournament lies a dedicated team of individuals working tirelessly to ensure its smooth operation. Among these unsung heroes is Natasha Petersen, 2023 Momentum gsport Awards Telkom Woman of the Year winner.

Petersen is an Events and Logistics Manager, who has played a pivotal role in organising major tournaments such as the FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup’s and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. 

Events and Logistics Manager Natasha Petersen is reaching new heights.

Her career in event management has taken her to new heights, and she exudes a passion for her work that is truly infectious. With each World Cup experience, she embraced fresh challenges and contributed to the event’s operational teams in diverse ways.

From overseeing the venue logistics operations at Lusail Stadium, the pinnacle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, to leading community engagement and marketing efforts during the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in South Africa, Petersen has left an indelible mark on the global sporting stage.

In a recent interview conducted by gsport’s Lungile Matsuma, we delved into Petersen’s inspiring journey, her experience at the Momentum gsport Awards and her remarkable accomplishment of winning the Telkom Woman of the Year Award.

Natasha, thank you so much for chatting to us! Over a week ago, you were honoured with the Telkom Woman of the Year accolade at the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards. What does this recognition mean to you?

It is a reward for the sacrifices that my family have made for me and with me, that allows me to follow this path. I receive and accept the Telkom Woman of the Year Award with such a full heart, and am grateful that I can continue telling my story and inspiring young girls and women to persist.

Because I do not want to be an exception: we have a responsibility to multiply the stories. The stories of those who are overcoming obstacles sometimes greater than themselves.

To be recognised in this way. To own my success. This is huge! Success, however, isn’t achieved independently, so I do want to thank all those mentors, collaborators, colleagues and supporters who have contributed to my journey thus far.

Can you tell us more about your role as an Events and Logistics Manager in organising major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup’s and the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup?

I love the phase that I am currently in. My career journey is evolving. The stadiums, facilities and the sporting action combined are the centrepiece of the operation of sports tournaments, with a large amount of work being done behind the scenes to gett the stadiums and facilities to the required state of readiness. 

Each of my three World Cup experiences were unique, because for each of them I fulfilled a different role, and contributed to the event’s operational teams in a different way.

In Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022 (football), I was responsible for the planning, delivery, and supervision of the Venue Logistics operations at Lusail Stadium, the biggest stadium with a capacity of 80 000+. Lusail Stadium also hosted the final game and closing ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

For the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup (cricket) hosted here at home in South Africa, I was leading on Community Engagement & Marketing for the Boland region and supporting CSA initiatives.

I recently returned home from my role as the Infotainment Technical Manager for the FIFA Women’s World Cup (football) in New Zealand and Australia, working across all 10 stadiums. Infotainment is the merging between information and entertainment, presented in a fun way that is fast-paced, and integrated with flashy graphics, music and sound effects. It is information-based content that also includes entertainment in an effort to enhance the spectator experience, whether in-stadium or watching from the comfort of their homes.

How did you initially get involved in event management, and what motivates you in this field?

Growing up, my family was actively involved in church events, so I learned the lessons of teamwork and putting together events from a young age. I’ve always loved working with people and have had a passion for music and sport, which I was blessed enough to be able to turn into a career.

It’s been a journey of more than 20 years, with an initial focus on music and now that has moved into a focus on the sports arena and contributing to projects in various roles and capacities.

What motivates me are the opportunities, and my ability to work with diverse clients and project teams in a collaborative work environment.

I enjoy seeing the efforts of all my hard work coming together successfully, and realising that, along with the project team, I have made the event special for both the athletes/sports people and spectators; it is a highly rewarding feeling.

What were some of the challenges you faced in organising these high-profile tournaments, and how did you overcome them?

Playing a role in the operational side of events means that I am faced with perpetual challenges, due to the sheer volume of details that need to be managed and monitored. Perhaps it is knowing that the events we deliver have a definite end date, and there’s no ability to do-overs of what did not go perfectly as planned. No matter how detailed our best-laid plans, it is difficult to have contingencies in place to cover every possibility for what may go awry. 

Your response to arising challenges, managing stress levels, and helping to steer the team towards finding and implementing solutions or resolutions can be tricky. So, you take a deep breath and do your best!

Trusting in one’s own abilities, coping with stress, integrating yourself into a new team, and focussing on the contribution you are making to the project — these are the key reasons that one must constantly work at finding and maintaining a balance between work, social and wellness, both physical and mental.

On a personal front, I always have conflicting feelings when I leave home and spend time away from my family and friends. It’s really tough! But there is also excitement in embracing new experiences and opportunities.

When travelling for work, a critical element is the need to be mindful of our attitudes and behaviours, and be respectful of cultures and beliefs that are different from your own. If you make the effort and your approach is flexible, then adapting and settling in allows you to start enjoying your experience.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a successful event, especially on such a grand scale?

Many countries worldwide use sports and mega events as a tool to stimulate both their national and local economies and to provide a platform to showcase the specific or range of sports codes. The diverse definitions of event success, however, are determined by the hosting countries, sports federation guidelines and the various stakeholders.

Event attendance, logistics, media coverage, utilising the power of social media engagement, effective marketing, sponsorship, are all contributing factors to making a successful event.

In addition to that, there has to be a focus on providing and offering memorable experiences to the spectators or participants. People want an all-encompassing experience.

What lessons have you learned throughout your career in event management that you believe contributed to your success?

I have tried to be consistent with what I do, and have focussed on always enhancing and improving the value that I can bring to a project.

Patience often provides us with possibilities, I think. And often you need to wait for the right opportunities to present themselves.

Prejudice hurt me many times along the way. But my certainty of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to experience never let me give up.

The tricky thing is maintaining work-life balance, especially as a woman, wife and mom. It can be done, but it’s not easy to do long term. I think that it’s all about making room for what matters the most. And you should create a circle of support around you and ask for help when you need it. 

To find that balance, you must let your intuition guide you, because this balance looks different for every woman. There is no right or wrong here; you figure out what suits you the most and work with it.

Are there any upcoming projects or events that you are particularly excited about working on?

I have worked very hard to get to the point where I can represent on a global arena as a very proud South African female of colour. The girl from Retreat (in Cape Town) who has just contributed to three successive World Cup events. I still have a list of projects that I would love to be a part of and contribute to. I unfortunately can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet about where to next.

How do you continually stay motivated and inspired in such a demanding industry?

A love of all things creative and a passion for music and sport and live events allows me to approach each day with passion and purpose. It has been a tough road to navigate, but such a rewarding experience.

To be a part of the action live, to have contributed in some small way to creating and putting my own mark on these global sporting experiences — sometimes I have just stood on the side of the field of play and said to myself: “Wow, look how far you have come!”

And of course, thank you to all the strong, smart, kind women I’m lucky to work with, collaborate with, and call my friends. To them I want to say: “I see you. I acknowledge you. I support you. I celebrate you.”

 Winners laud artistry of Austin Malema

In the midst of the luminous evening that was the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards, a moment of pure magic unfolded — a collaboration of artistry and excellence that transformed a photo shoot into a captivating work of art. At the heart of it all was Austin Malema, a maestro behind the lens, and our extraordinary winners.

In Kgothatso Montjane’s portrait, we witness more than an image; we witness a testament to the power of resilience. Malema’s artistry captured  Montjane’s unwavering spirit, her eyes reflecting the strength that defines her journey as the Brand SA Para Sport Star.

Photographer Austin Malema’s portrait perfectly captures the indomitable spirit of Wheelchair tennis Grand Slam Champion Kgothatso Montjane.

Leila Steyn-Daku’s portrait is a testament to the synergy between creativity and excellence. Malema’s lens painted not just her image, but the dreams and aspirations that drive her as the Global Woman in Sport. Every line and shadow spoke of elegance, embodying the vision she brings to the world of sports.

Natasha Petersen’s portrait exudes grace and influence, each line and curve a testament to her impact as the Telkom Woman of the Year. Malema’s shots captured not just her external beauty, but the inner strength that defines her leadership.

Vusiwe Ngcobo’s portrait is a tale waiting to be told. In the realm of Malema’s studio, her essence comes to life. Every shadow and highlight speaks of a storyteller, a woman whose narratives transcend screens. It’s not just a portrait; it’s the embodiment of SuperSport Woman on TV.

These portraits go beyond photographs; they are windows into the souls of remarkable women. Each frame captures a moment, a legacy and a testament to the power of creativity and excellence.

Malema’s artistry, combined with the essence of our winners, created a collection of portraits that will stand as a testament to triumph for years to come.

Winners Laud Artistry of Austin Malema – gsport4girls 

Andile Dlamini steals the show at Momentum gsport Awards 

Andile Dlamini, the accomplished goalkeeper for both the Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, was honoured with the prestigious Momentum Athlete of the Year award at the 18th edition of the gsport Awards. This celebration of women’s sports showcased Dlamini’s exceptional talent, solidifying her status as one of Africa’s finest athletes.

Standing on the shoulders of giants: goalkeeper Andile Dlamini delivers a rousing rendition of the song ‘Athandwe’ that has inspired so many women and girls.

Dlamini’s previous accolade as Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations further underscored her prowess. Beyond her impressive performance on the field, she demonstrated herself to be an influential figure, and she dedicated this significant victory to the entire continent.

“This one is not for me, it’s for everyone. I represent people, I represent the whole of Africa. For that girl who starts from nothing and becomes something, it means a great deal,” Dlamini said, expressing her gratitude to Kass Naidoo, the founder of gsport, for the beautiful awards.

The previous year, at #gsport17, Dlamini gracefully acknowledged losing to Spar Proteas captain Bongi Msomi in the Telkom Woman of the Year category. This setback, she believes, prepared her for even greater heights. She opined: “I don’t think I was ready to win it at that time, but now I was ready because of her inspiration.”

Dlamini recognized the significant role played by all her coaches in her development as a goalkeeper, acknowledging their unwavering dedication to her progress. “Every coach who has guided Andile Dlamini has had a positive impact on my growth. They’ve provided encouragement during moments of improvement and offered congratulations during moments of success.”

Beyond her accomplishments on the field, Dlamini, hailing from Tembisa, has captured hearts with her captivating voice. She often leads the Banyana squad in song, and videos of her musical performances with teammates have gone viral.

At the Momentum gsport Awards, Dlamini took centre stage, opening the glamorous event in Johannesburg. Alongside the Indoni Higher Primary Choir from Meadowlands, Soweto, she delivered a mesmerising performance of the song “Athandwe,” which gained popularity during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“That song made Africans so proud, and I know it inspired so many girls. I also know Banyana Banyana inspired so many girls, so I wanted my teammates to also be proud of what they’ve done at the World Cup and the spirit of Africa being shown on the show, because I feel like gsport is not only for South Africans, it’s for Africans.”

The gsport initiative, a beacon for women’s sports since 2006, has become a preeminent force in African women’s sports. Dlamini underscored the vital role of a platform created for and by women.

“To gsport, thank you for recognising powerful women, creating this opportunity, and showing love and celebration for women. These awards, as I mentioned before — I wish for them to become even bigger.”

“To everyone, keep working hard. Your efforts will be acknowledged. These awards are the most significant for women in South Africa, and thank you to all the men who support women.” 

Trailblazer Blanche Moila inducted into the gsport Hall Of Fame

Blanche Moila, the South African road-running legend, was recently honoured as a 2023 gsport Hall of Fame inductee at a distinguished luncheon in Sandton, attended by former inductees and past winners from the Momentum gsport Awards. Moila’s legacy as a trailblazer is etched in history, having shattered racial barriers during the apartheid era in the 1980s. In 1984, she achieved the monumental feat of earning Springbok colours, becoming the first black South African woman to represent her country.

Moila’s resolute spirit has led to a remarkable list of accomplishments, including an impressive 18 Comrades Marathons. Reflecting on this recognition, the mid/long-distance runner shared: “It’s very humbling. I didn’t expect this honour. I’ve had a long journey in athletics. So I appreciate it. I really do. It means a great deal to me.”

Veteran ultra-marathon runner Blanche Moila says it takes many sacrifices to achieve in sport. She calls on corporations to follow in the footsteps of Momentum and Spar to provide sponsorship for female athletes.

Throughout her career, Moila clinched numerous national titles and set records across various distances, earning accolades for her outstanding contributions to athletics. Her iconic white turban became a symbol of her legacy, catching the attention of Nike after four decades. They recognised the value in her talent and her commitment to her distinctive headgear, ultimately adorning it with their renowned swoosh.

Moila, a former Senior Psychiatric Nurse from Polokwane, emphasised the importance of balance in managing her dual roles. “You need to know how to balance it holistically and healthily too. Time was important, my nursing as well as my running. You have to make sacrifices, sometimes sacrificing your social life.”

As a pioneer in women’s sports, Moila paved the way for future athletes. She reflected on the progress made in women’s sports, acknowledging the support from entities like Momentum and Spar, but she hopes for more corporations to step up and offer individual sponsorships for women.

Mqondisi Ngcobo, Chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association, paid tribute to Moila’s extraordinary achievements, highlighting her groundbreaking contributions to athletics and her historic accolade as the first black South African female to receive Springbok colours.

The gsport Hall of Fame now proudly includes Blanche Moila among the ranks of 16 other iconic figures who have left an indelible mark on the landscape of women’s sports, inspiring generations to dream big and reach for their goals.

Women in sport make history at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange

It was at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Friday 22 September 2023 when Kgothatso Montjane, a two-time Grand Slam wheelchair tennis doubles champion, and Michaela Whitebooi, a Commonwealth Games judo gold medalist, became the first South African women in sport to ring the opening bell.

Precisely at 9am, Montjane heralded the moment with a resonant blow of the African Kudu horn, flanked by Whitebooi and prominent supporters of women’s sports, including Momentum Group Chief Marketing Officer Nontokozo Madonsela, and acting CEO at Brand SA, Sithembile Ntombela. They all gathered for the second annual gsport business breakfast, where the honour of opening the markets underscored the commitment to advancing the commercialisation of women’s sports.

Making history: Kgothatso Montjane and Michaela Whitebooi open markets at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The gsport business breakfast underscored the commitment to advancing the commercialisation of women’s sports.

In the spotlight of South African sports this year, the concept of “professionalisation” took centre stage. Teams such as the Proteas Women, Banyana Banyana, and standout athletes like Montjane excelled in what’s been dubbed “2023 – The Year of Women’s Sport”, fuelling calls for professionalisation, equitable compensation and increased visibility for women.

The esteemed JSE proved a fitting venue to underscore the financial sector’s vital role in investing in women’s sports. The event, hosted by the incomparable SABC Sport Broadcaster Lonwabo Nkohla, aimed to drive home the message of a future where female athletes thrive and excel professionally.

For Montjane, whose on-court performance shone this year, the opportunity to celebrate corporate strides in women’s sports at the JSE was an honour. “This is cool!” Montjane said, as one of the first female athletes in the country to open the trading markets for the day.

At the event, Montjane also stressed the importance of investing at grassroots levels in the country, saying: “It’s so sad that we still need to win Grand Slams in order to get sponsors. We need to change this narrative and start investing from development, grassroots levels.”

gsport’s Newsroom partner, Telkom, represented by Chief Marketing Officer, Gugu Mthembu, joined the conversation, highlighting the telecommunications giant’s commitment to driving the development of women’s sport and netball through their #StandTall campaign, which has encouraged greater support.

Emy Casaletti-Bwalya, CEO of Optimize Agency, delivered an exceptional keynote address, taking guests through the steps that led Montjane to victory and two Grand Slam titles in a year. “KG is such a positive person and that has led to a fruitful journey for us as a team,” she said.

Closing the breakfast session, gsport Founder, Kass Naidoo, shared 10 Women in Sport Advancements that changed the game in 2023 – The Year of Women’s Sport:

  • South Africa Hosting Inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup
  • Proteas Women making history, becoming the first senior SA team ever to reach a Cricket World Cup final
  • Chloe Tryon winning the WPL and The Hundred competition
  • Lydia Monyepao appointed SAFA CEO
  • World Table Tennis Championship Final
  • South Africa hosts Africa’s first Netball World Cup
  • CSA Launch Professional Women’s League
  • Banyana Banyana reach last 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • KG wins French Open doubles and US Open doubles
  • The 18th Momentum gsport Awards

Proteas Women and Banyana Banyana – Stand-out performers in The Year of Women’s Sport

As the 2022 curtains were drawn to a close, the big year was anticipated, fittingly dubbed “2023 – The Year of Women’s Sport”. There were many global tournaments, and some came to South Africa for the first time in history. One of the first tournaments to open the year was the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

When the tournament started, no one could’ve scripted that during this tournament hosted on home soil for the first-time, a glass ceiling would be shattered in more ways than one: the air in all the venues, namely, Boland Park in Paarl, St George’s Park in Gqeberha and Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, were filled with a new-found vigour and appetite for women’s cricket.

 Proteas Ladies may not have won the ICC World Cup, but they did make it all the way to the final, which opened many doors for women’s sport in South Africa.

As we built up to the final, women’s cricket enjoyed unwavering support that escalated when the home side, the Proteas Women, reached the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final, beating England by six runs at Newlands Cricket Ground.

The Proteas Ladies became the first senior national cricket team to progress to an ICC World Cup final, and this breaking news had fans rushing to buy tickets for the ground-breaking final, resulting in it being sold out at Newlands Cricket Ground. This feat bodes well for women’s cricket in South Africa and globally.

Hilton Moreeng’s side met Australia in the sold-out affair. But the result didn’t go the South African way, and Australia lifted the Women’s ICC T20 World Cup Trophy for the sixth time, after defeating South Africa by 19 runs.

Despite the loss, South Africa’s women’s cricket won. The historic tournament was certainly a step in the right direction. It became evident when The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture pledged R15 million to Cricket South Africa over three years. Soon after the announcement, CSA announced the establishment of the first fully professional women’s sports league in the country.

With the tone now set for the rest of the year, the SA national women’s team did not disappoint. Banyana embarked for New Zealand and Australia for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Amid an ugly “feud” with national football governing body SAFA, coach Desiree Ellis and her beyond competent charges had the hopes of South Africans on their shoulders to make the country proud down under.

The 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions delivered. Banyana made history, progressing to the last 16 of the global extravaganza, the first time a South African side, male or female, has made it this far in a FIFA World Cup. The side led by Refiloe Jane came from a goal down to beat Italy 3-2 in a Group G win in Wellington, setting a date with the Netherlands.

The clash in the round of 16 was never going to be easy, but they put on a valiant fight. They were knocked out of the FIFA World Cup in a 2-0 loss to Netherlands.

The overall performance made a lot of people, including their local detractors, question how a team from a country that doesn’t have a professional league could perform so tenaciously on football’s biggest stage.

Banyana have certainly shown time and again that the time is now for women’s football in this country to take a huge leap further and professionalise the women’s league. Through that, our national team can reach even greater heights.