Q&A with Banyana Banyana star Nomvula Kgoale

In her Q&A, Banyana Banyana midfielder, Nomvula Kgoale, talks about her successes at Louisiana Tech in the USA, her degree in Geographical Information Science and her nickname Lady Lipstick.

What attributes are required for your position?

I’m a versatile player. I don’t play one position. I have both attacking and defensive abilities. What’s required is vision, reading the game 2 to 3 steps ahead, quick thinking, swift movements and mental as well as physical endurance.

Which parts of your game have improved the most this year?

My confidence has definitely moved to a different level and my understanding of the game. My moves are now more meticulous.

You captained the u17 national team – what are your leadership skills?

Firstly, my voice. I command and organize when needed. I also understand the need to encourage and push the team to stay on top of our game.

How was your experience at Louisiana Tech University in the USA?

I excelled as a player and am now in the university’s Hall of Fame. As a person, I gained lifetime friends. It’s very difficult for me to talk about this because there are things I experienced that were so peculiar or surreal that they are too fragile for me to touch. I still don’t understand them and I don’t think I ever will, because of how mystical they were.

Tell us about your BA degree – why Geographical Information Science?

GIS endeavours to solve real life problems using software. I picked it because it was something I had never heard of and I’m all about risks and exploring.

Tell us about your nickname Lipstick Lady?

The people of South Africa gave me the name after a viral video circulated on social media after we won WAFCON. I love it. I live it. I own it because it gives me so much pride in being a woman in a space mostly deemed as a men’s sport. Also, it twists the mind of those who have never seen a woman wearing lipstick or make up on the field worn. Lipstick Lady is designed for people to raise their eyebrows.

You are active on social media – what content do you share?

A lot. It could be my workouts, or just my teammates or myself relaxing and having fun. I try to show fans things they’ve never had access to, from the inside.

What is the Nomvula Kgoale development programme?

It is not annual or operating on some calendar. It is spontaneous and targets places where the grass is not watered and this is usually in rural areas. However, should the rural place gain the necessary water, then the programme shifts elsewhere where there’s a need for tools that teams or schools need to do what they love. Currently, because of limited resources the programme only targets rural areas in Limpopo. Moreover, it is not restricted to football, although the first outreach solely focused on football.

Your advice to girls chasing their dreams?

Barriers are only in the mind. If you truly want something, do whatever it takes. Invest in yourself if you’re not getting the support you desire.

What keeps you hungry for success?

My purpose. There is always something that feels unfulfilled when I wake up. But with each workout I do, game I play or event I attend, I feel fulfilled by something that assures me that I’m on the right track. I’ve got something to do on this planet and whatever that purpose is keeps me going.

What attracted you to partner with PUMA?

A grand brand. But who they are as human beings behind the brand was important. So how they received my agent and spoke to her as an individual is what made me say they are my number one. The assumption is that she is me, so how they address her is how they’ll address me.

What boots do you play in?

I wear PUMA Future for control and creativity.

Favourite sneakers?

PUMA Mayze. They are super fashionable and swaggy!

Career highlights?

Being named in the Team of the Decade at my US university. Secondly, becoming the Champions of Africa.

Can you share the secrets to the Afcon win?

Fate. We were born for it.

There is a World Cup later this year?

The World Cup is the biggest stage for any footballer and doesn’t come around very often, so in my world I must do everything to give myself the best chance possible to get to that stage.

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