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The Queen of Teyateyaneng


Die-hard Lioli fan Mamandla Musa has come to symbolise the flamboyance of Tse Nala

Moorosi Tsiane

Mamandla Musa
Mamandla Musa

SHE is almost always present at every Lioli match and has come to symbolise the flamboyance that is now associated. with the Teyateyaneng-based Premier League giants.

Mamandla Musa (54) is not your ordinary football fan who goes to matches just to while away time, but for the express purpose of inspiring a team she has supported since childhood.

“You cannot separate me and Lioli because we are one and the same thing. When you mention Lioli, you are talking about me. My love for this team dates back many, many, many years, when I was a very young girl. In-fact, I started supporting this team as a child,” Musa, who is popularly known in football and political circles as Mofumahali, told the Sunday Express during the Lioli/Bantu match at Setsoto stadium last weekend.

Born and bred in Teyateyaneng Ha-Maope in Berea district, Musa said sport, particularly football, is one of the greatest joys of her life, and credits the mother of Teyateyaneng head-chief, ‘Mamathe Masupha, for her undying love for the ‘beautiful game’.  Musa said she naturally supports Lioli because the team is from her home-district.

“Nkhono ‘Mamathe was the one who instilled this love for sport in me from the time I was a very young girl. She also taught us to be true patriots, which is why  even today, you will find that Teyateyaneng people always get together and understand each other; many get married to their sweethearts they grew up with in our district of Berea,” she said.

Musa also explained how the nickname, Mofumahali, came about.

“Many people know me as Mofumahali and some don’t even know my real name. But what happened was we were at a political rally at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre in 1998 when the police arrived and started ordering us around. I refused to be pushed and just stood there and then a colleague, Ratabane Ramainoane, said ‘eeno a emeng mono ke Mofumahali oa Teyateyaneng’, which literally means that woman standing there is the Queen of Teyateyaneng.

“I am a very stubborn and straightforward person who calls a spade a spade; that is how I got that name, Mofumahali,” Musa said, chuckling.

Musa, who is a civil servant, further said she likes sport because it helps her  mingle and always makes her happy.

“Sport, in particular football, helps me meet people, especially the youths who are tomorrow’s future. Sport also keeps me healthy and helps me not to be forgetful because in sport, you always have to remember things and keep records. You have got to have a healthy body and mind to really enjoy sport, which is why I am so much in love with it.”

However, Musa said being a football fan comes with many challenges because society sees women who like the game as irresponsible.

Her “tough” background, she added, has however, helped her remain strong in-spite of the snide remarks directed at her because of her love for football.

“I am the fourth child in my family, after three boys, so you can just imagine how I grew up surrounded by brothers who always treated me like a boy. When you love football as a woman, some people don’t want to have anything to do with you because they believe you are an irresponsible person; they think a lot of terrible  things about you. But my background has helped me a lot in withstanding those challenges. I have even become a stronger person because of those challenges,” said Musa.

She added: “Most women don’t like me because they cannot stand my character. I am a very tough person to deal with, and one thing that I also hate is gossiping, which some women like to do. Because I like to tell it straight, some people don’t like me for it.”

Asked if she played football as a girl, Musa said: “You know, despite my love for football, I never played the sport. In-fact, I was an athlete; I enjoyed running more than anything else.”

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