Harare – About a fortnight ago, FIFA’s first ever female secretary-general, Fatma Samoura, urged women to take a more active role in soccer administration.
Addressing the virtual Africa Women's Sports Summit, Samoura said: "Don't underestimate yourself. Believe in yourself, when you are called upon to lead it is because you have the skills. I believe in hard work. One thing I have learnt is that the men won't do you a favour just because you are a woman. Be resilient, innovative and have personal values.”
It is advice that Joyce Kapota, a Zimbabwean lady who recently graduated from the Cape Town Women’s Sport Leadership Academy in South Africa, has taken to heart with the launch of consultancy firm Amor Sport.
Amor Sport seeks to develop sport, mainly women and girls in sport, not only in Zimbabwe but Southern Africa as a region.
She told The Southern Times Sport that, “Amor sport was is founded and launched in Zimbabwe but it is not meant for Zimbabweans only. I came up with this idea while I was still in South Africa for my studies. I had classmates from South Africa, Zambia and other countries from within Southern Africa so I established networks and now my plan is to use those networks and reach out to girls and other athletes across the region.
“We are in the process of doing the proper paper work that will allow us to work with athletes from across the SADC region. Apart from developing girls, we are not ignoring our guys. We are doing total athlete management. We have seen how it’s done globally and we want to bring that into our own region.”
She said people like Samoura were major inspirations, but more women needed to get involved in sports from both the performance and commercial perspectives.
“Yes we have people like Samoura as FIFA’s secretary-general, and that makes us proud as ladies. But when we talk of sport in Southern Africa, we are still far from getting the scale balanced and that’s what I want to achieve.
“For example, In Zimbabwe out of the 72 CAF A license holders, only one is a woman. Just one out 72, imagine? That alone says a lot. We have the Council of Southern African Football Associations, how many women hold powerful positions there?]
“We have sport associations in all parts of Southern Africa, how many women do we have in those associations? Women in Southern Africa need to stand up … what a man can do a woman can do.”