Kholosa Biyana risked her job to follow her dream of being a soccer player. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Banyana Banyana’s rising star Kholosa Biyana is so passionate about her football career that she even quit her job to focus on what makes her happy.

Biyana, who is born and bred in the Eastern Cape, is working hard to earn herself a place in South Africa’s squad that will be going to the Fifa Women’s World Cup France in June.

She is expected to start today when Banyana lock horns with Jamaica in a friendly match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (3pm kick-off).

Biyana explained how she left her job to focus on her career.

“In 2013, I was doing a radiography at Durban University of Technology and graduated and then I got a job. But my job delayed my progress in football. So, I decided to quit and register for a course that has something to do with sport,” Biyana said.

Biyana is now studying Sports Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

“I’ve made my parents proud because they wanted me to graduate and I achieved that. So, now it is time for my heart to be entertained. Football makes me happy.

“I’m in the Banyana Banyana squad but if I continued with my job in the rural areas I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.

"I was working at Mjanyana Hospital in the Eastern Cape Now I’m doing my third year in Sports Science. It is not easy because we have a lot of camps but I will push. The most important thing is to balance my studies and soccer," Biyana explained.

Banyana will be looking to get back to winning ways after a disappointing Cyprus Women’s Cup, where they failed to win a single game, when they square off against Jamaica this afternoon.

“We won’t take Jamaica for granted. When people think of Jamaica, they only think about athletics but they did well to qualify for the World Cup. We will go out there and make sure we get a victory,” Biyana said.

The hard working Biyana is eager to realise her dream of playing at the World Cup.

“Our coach always tell us that no one has a guaranteed place. I’m working hard to make the final team. It doesn’t start now. It has been my dream to play at the World Cup. I will be so happy to make the final squad,” Biyana said.

Meanwhile, Banyana defender Noko Matlou will earn her 150th cap for the national team when they take on Jamaica.

Malou has had an impressive career and was the first South African footballer to receive a Caf Women’s Player of the Year award, in 2008.

She also got that same honour from the South African Football Association (Safa). Another highlight was being voted SA Sportswomen of the Year in 2012.

Matlou’s achievement of 150 games comes hot on the heels of Banyana captain Janine van Wyk, who is now on 164 - making Matlou the second footballer in the country to reach this milestone.

Growing up in Moletjie, Limpopo, the defender was originally interested in athletics and only started pursuing football at the age of 13.

With the support of her coaches, she continued playing football and eventually received her first call-up to Banyana Banyana at the age of 22.

Today she continues to inspire young women footballers, who look up to her.

“Since I started playing football, I’ve always wondered what kind of player I would be, how many caps I would reach and how long I would play for the national team.

“I’m so grateful to be counted among the most-capped footballers in South Africa. It hasn’t been an easy journey getting to where I am, but it has definitely been rewarding,” she said. 


Sunday Independent 

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