UKZN student and Banyana Banyana midfielder, Kholosa Biyana (left), with Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku, before she left for France. Picture: Sithembile Shabangu

Durban - Banyana Banyana star Kholosa Biyana will next month realise her dream of competing at the FIFA Women’s Cup.

Biyana, 24, is one of 23 women who will fly the South African flag high at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France during the month long tournament, which commences on June 7 until July 7.

Biyana, who is a radiography graduate from the Durban University of Technology and a sports science final year student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said she was looking forward to taking part in her first world cup.

Finding a balance between her schooling and her sporting career was ‘hectic’, she said.

Before jetting off to score and create goals for Banyana, Biyana had to write her sport science exams departing for Johannesburg on Wednesday.

She had to write four exams since last week and until Tuesday, before leaving for Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“It’s very hectic, I am a bit old now because this is my second degree, so I know how to manage my studies and my football. I always say to myself that just like I make sure that I make time to go to training, I must make sure I make time for my studies,” she said.

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis’ team has been drawn in a tough group which features Germany, Spain and China.

“We are in a very tough group, but we might surprise some people, we want to go there and work hard,” she said.

Biyana has earned 19 caps for Banyana, and she will be hoping to gain more caps under her belt.

“I have reached my goal of going to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I have always wanted to be in the team to go to the world cup, so it will be great to play a few games,” she added.

Biyana jetted off to Johannesburg from Durban on Wednesday. The Banyana Banyana squad leaves for France on Thursday from the OR Tambo International Airport.

The UKZN football star also thanked the university and her family for supporting her.

“The coaches never gave up on me and they kept motivating me. UKZN football has always supported me. My parents have also shown their support even though they were worried that I wouldn't be able to balance my studies and football,” she said.

“I thank them in ensuring that I do well and pass all my tests and exams,” she said.  

UKZN’s acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nana Poku, wished Biyana well for the competition and thanked her for flying the UKZN flag high.

Meanwhile, Boyana, who grew up supporting Manchester United and Kaizer Chiefs, will be donning the Number 19 jersey for Banyana.  She exhales after making the revelation about the clubs she supports.

“I don’t want to talk about them too much because you know,” she pleads.

Chelsea Women’s Football Club head coach, Emma Hayes, has emerged on the shortlist to become the next manager of the club’s men’s team.

“Really, actually I am surprised about that,” said Biyana.

“That would be great, it would be nice to see people take us seriously and see the women take over a big club for the first time in the Premier League,” said Biyana.

She said she was looking forward to the South African Football Association starting and running a successful women’s league in the future.

Independent On Saturday