Every dream starts with a dreamer. Yet, behind the glitz and glory lies a story often untold—the story of growth, perseverance, and unwavering dedication. Take, for instance, Nthabiseng Majiya, a rising star in the world of football. At just 19 years old, Majiya's journey from Richmond United to Sundowns speaks volumes of her talent and determination. Named the Hollywoodbets Super League Young Player of the Season for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Majiya has already left an indelible mark on the pitch. Already having represented her country, Majiya made her mark from the onset, as the youngest player in the Banyana Banyana squad during her debut call-up.Since joining Sundowns, she has scored 4 goals in 5 Hollywood Super League appearances, making a wonderful start to life at Chloorkop. The magazine team had the privilege of sitting down with the ethereal star to uncover the captivating journey behind the scenes, delving into the story behind the story.
What inspired you to join Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and how do you plan to contribute to the success of the club and women’s football in South Africa?
“My family inspired me to join Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. They've always been my rock since day one, supporting me throughout my journey. Their constant encouragement has been my backbone, allowing me to pursue my passion for football with confidence. With their support, I'm committed to making a meaningful contribution both on and off the field”
What are your dreams and aspirations for competing on the continental stage, and do you envision representing your nation in future call-ups to the national team?
“My dream is to serve as an inspiration for young girls out there who aspire to pursue football, showing them that with dedication and hard work, anything is possible. Looking ahead, I hope to get the chance to represent my nation again in future call-ups to the national team, continuing to make my family, my team, and my country proud.”
Can you share your experience at Sundowns so far compared to your initial expectations, both on and off the pitch?
“At Sundowns, my experience so far has exceeded my initial expectation, both on and off the pitch. Respect is key here, whether we're training or just hanging out. It's all about giving and getting respect, which makes the whole experience really positive.”
What was going through your mind when you scored your debut goal for Sundowns, and how did it feel to achieve such a milestone?
“Scoring my debut goal for Sundowns was an incredible moment. I had a lot running through my mind at that time, realizing I just made my mark for the team. As the ball hit the back of the net, I felt a surge of pride, joy and excitement. It was a moment I'll never forget, marking the beginning of my journey with the team on a good note.”
How do you balance your life off the pitch with your football commitments, and what activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of football?
“When I'm not training or with my teammates on the pitch, I enjoy spending time alone, doing things that I love by myself. Spending time with my family is a vital part of my off-the-pitch commitments. If I'm not alone, then I'm usually with my family.”
How do you unwind and relax after intense training sessions or matches, and what role does self-care play in your routine?
“Once the training or match is done, I head straight home to catch up with my family. There's something special about being around them that helps me relax and recharge. After spending some quality time with them, I like to retreat to my room, maybe put on some music or watch a movie to unwind. It's my way of taking care of myself after giving it my all on the field.”
What do you enjoy most about the bond with your teammates at Sundowns, both on and off the field, and how does it contribute to your overall well-being?
“The best thing about my teammates at Sundowns is that we're like a tight-knit family. We share a lot of laughs, both on and off the field, and that vibe really makes a difference. Whether we're training together or just hanging out, there's always a sense of teamwork and support. Being part of such a positive environment contributes a lot to my overall well-being, knowing that I have their backing both on and off the pitch.”
Are there any individuals or role models, in football or outside football, who have inspired your journey, and if so, how have they influenced your approach to the game and life?
“My dad has always been my biggest motivation and inspiration. He's been there for me all through, supporting me in everything I do. His dedication and strength have influenced my approach to both the game and life. He taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and never giving up on my dreams.”
Picture the day you lift your first Masandawana trophy. What music would you be dancing to, and how would you envision celebrating this significant achievement?
“When I imagine lifting my first Masandawana trophy, I can't help but feel excited. I'd probably have "Congratulate" by AKA blasting in the background, celebrating the moment with my teammates and fans. It's a song that perfectly captures the feeling of achievement and triumph, and I can't think of a better soundtrack for such a special occasion.”
Any special plans for Easter?
“For Easter, I'm just looking forward to hanging out with my family.”
Nthabiseng Majiya's journey teaches us that with determination, we can achieve our dreams. Her story inspires us to face challenges head-on, knowing that each obstacle is a chance to grow. As we cheer for Majiya's success and bear witness to her rise to stardom, we're encouraged to pursue our own goals with courage and persistence, knowing that nothing is impossible with effort and belief.