Odinga – Star in Making

| April 9, 2015

She is shy outside the field, but wears the national team jersey with pride and gusto.

The Meat Girls star, Kesegofetse ‘Odinga’ Mochawe, 19, was groomed up well in footballing terms since she has gone through all the stages of development.

When the Shoshong born fullback started playing football at a tender age in Standard Four at Mokibe Primary School, little did she realise that she would one day represent her country at international level.

Her passion for football continued when she graduated to Mahutagane Junior Secondary School where she caught the eye of national team selectors while doing Form One.

Her big break arrived when she was called up to the national under-15 team. Odinga never looked back and whilst doing Form Three she graduated to the under-17 and ultimately made it to the under-20 team.

In 2011, and only aged 16, Odinga received the shock of her life when she was roped into the senior women’s team, and has since battled with some seasoned players in international football such as Jermaine Seoposenwe of South Africa.

Odinga’s rising star continued when she scored a stunning long range goal against South Africa in 2013 in the FIFA under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers at Molepolole Sports Complex. Although they lost the game 5-2, the Shoshong born girl proved herself in that match.

A good listener, Odinga says she heeded aice from her area Member of Parliament, Phillip Makgalemele, who is also the former president of Botswana Football Association.

She said Makgalemele once aised students during a football coaching clinic to take sports seriously as it could be a source of employment.

Though the hardworking player admits that women’s football is played for enjoyment and pride, she expressed confidence that one day it would be a paying job just like the men’s league.

“We are just making a foundation for all women players who would come after us, they would enjoy salaries because I am confident that by the time we retire in active football, all those who would come after us would enjoy the benefits because by then women’s football would be taken seriously,” she said.

According to Odinga, with or without a salary she would continue to play football with passion since it is her first love. She is also grateful of support from her sister, mother Thato Mochawe, team-mates and her coaches.

The senior women’s national team manager, Mildred Chingapane was adamant that Odinga, with her good attitude in the game would go places. “She is quiet, shy and takes instructions well and is very humble, but very aggressive in the field of play.

Therefore I am confident that my little Odinga would go far with her football career,” she said.

Odinga is proof that with more support for women players, Botswana would produce stars equally capable such as Homare Sawa of Japan, Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil and Abby Wambach of the United States.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

Comments are closed.