Up Close and Personal with Thuto Tsotetsi

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January 15, 2016 by Student 24/7 Blog

There is only one thing that has the power to unite all kinds of people regardless of their origins or religious beliefs. It is egalitarian. It lives within us. We can sense it. It lives in every shallow breath we take. It can excite us, break us or even disappoint us but one thing it will never dare to do is to evade us. Its name is sport. In a world where gender stereotypes have long been perpetuated by patriarchy and cultural norms, women continue to get shunned in male-dominated sports.

However, in the midst of this calamity, there has been those women who have managed to excel in male-dominated fields this changing the world around them and inspiring others to do the same. One of these inspiring tales has to be that of Thuto Tsotetsi. Originally from Vosloorus in the East Rand, Tsotetsi has been a prominent female figure in the NWU Vaal FC technical team. In this interview, the soft-spoken football manager opens up about work, life and other issues ranging from glass ceiling and gender discrimination in sports.


When did the bug of sports hit you?

From a very young age, beginning with gymnastics and swimming but my interests in soccer was sparked by my boss and mentor,Thomas Thema, when I first applied at NWU Vaal in 2012.

Describe yourself in three words?

Committed, attentive and humble

Can you please explain the nature of your job?

My job is basically to organize the team, make sure they have all the equipment, be the mediator between the team and the sports officer and coaches…

What is it like to work in a male-dominated industry?

Not as bad as most people would think. It actually pushes me to want to work harder and it also challenges me but overall, I just love it.

What aspects of your job interest you the most?

Working with the teams, travelling and learning more about the sport with time

What is your take on “glass ceiling” that still exist in sports?

Although women’s soccer has grown rapidly, I think more attention and support for women in sport is needed

Have you ever experienced or witnessed any gender discrimination?

Not at all, my male colleagues and boss have been especially accommodating since i started and haven’t treated me any differently from them

What have you learned since you started on your job?

I have learnt a lot about the soccer since i started working here.  I didn’t even know what an offside was until I came here.  I have also learnt that loosing doesn’t mean the end of the world but instead paves the way for improvement and the will to try harder.

Finally, your closing remarks to the students and fans?

Stay true to yourselves, never let peoples doubts about you cloud your dreams and always work towards what you want


Quick one-twos

  • Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova?


  • London or Paris?


  • Nike or Adiddas?


  • Soccer City or Moses Mabhida?

Moses Mabhida

  • Two things you can’t live without?

Talking to my mom and my younger sister

  • If your house was burning, what are the three things that you would save?

My laptop, all my high school artworks and my dogs


Written by Mangaliso Maduna


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