FOR many women, sport is all about participation and when it comes to administration, they prefer to stick to the same disciplines they had been involved in.
BY SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
Football is regarded as a men’s sport as some teams didn’t want women near their team especially ahead of a game, due to juju beliefs.
So how does it fell like to administer men’s football if you are a woman?
In Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer League, the names of Joyce Kapota of Caps United public relations manager and FC Platinum media liaison officer Chido Chizondo quickly come to mind.
Our sister paper Southern Eye Sport spoke to Kapota to find out how her journey has been like.
“I joined Caps United in 2012 as a communications officer before being elevated in 2013. It’s amazing.
“I thank God every day for it. It’s a priviledge and honour to be in Zimbabwe football. It’s not easy being taken seriously in a male dominated industry, but the Caps United family feels like home,” she said.
Working for a team that is one of the most followed in the country hasn’t been easy for Kapota, but that has not deterred her as she has support.
“The feeling is phenomenal and the challenges are greater. But I have a great support structure and enormous guidance from our club president Twine Phiri and chief executive officer Joe Makuvire.
“It can be overwhelming at times, but we have a fantastic administration team,” she said.
Those that dabble in juju i believe that the presence of a woman can affect the team’s performance. How so, they have never explained.
However, Kapota said she is happy because she has been welcomed and that those perspectives are slowly changing.
“I have had a very pleasant stay at Caps United mostly because of our supporters’ warmth and passion which supersedes it all. I was received with so much love and support at Caps United.
“We have a wonderful working relationship with other teams as football has a way of uniting people. Perspectives are slowly changing in Zimbabwean football,” she said.
She mentioned women who have inspired her to work hard.
“I look up to Zifa board member Miriam Sibanda and Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga. They are women who have played a huge role in Zimbabwean football and women’s acceptance as administrators,” added Kapota.
Sibanda was the chief operations officer of Northern Region Division One side Twalumba Football Club.
“I love football. Growing up in a family of three boys and being the only girl I am somehow a tomboy and football is our love. I am a passionate Chelsea fan,” she said.
Chelsea are top of the log table with 53 points from 23 games while second placed Manchester City trail by five points from the same number of games.
Kapota attended Mutasa Primary Schools and Langham Girls High School in Mvurwi and has continued to further her education.
“I played a bit of volleyball and football. I have a degree in Hospitality Management through Cambridge. I have a Higher National Diploma in Business Administration and currently studying towards a qualification in Community Development.”
Asked on her plans for the future she said: “I definitely want to advance women’s football and mostly the junior development. That is where the talent and the future is.
“I want to be more involved in communities dealing with issues that affect women and children on a daily basis. My passion is in using football as a tool for youth growth and how it impacts on communities,” she said.
Kapota sees the Harare side scaling to great heights in the next few years.
“Caps United is a giant that has withstood all the storms since its inception in 1973. It is going to be greater and bigger than it is now. It’s a huge brand that has a big vision and given time and the necessary resources it will achieve international and regional success,” she said.
And now to that other question that women would not want to answer — age!
She says she was born in Harare “20 something years ago” on November 27.
And she adds: “I am not yet married and have no kids. But I am in a serious relationship,” she said.
On a parting note, she thanked her parents for being very supportive and allowing her to pursue her dreams.