Cesane welcomed with warm hands

Noxolo Cesane waving the national flag during the tour in Gugulethu.

Noxolo Cesane waving the national flag during the tour in Gugulethu.
Excitement was evident on the faces of Gugulethu residents during the welcoming ceremony of their Banyana Banyana soccer star Noxolo Cesane.

The 21-year-old midfield player played a crucial role in the Banyana squad that recently clinched the Womens African Cup of Nations tournament in Rabat, Morocco.

The squad returned to South Africa on Tuesday 26 July after beating the hosts 2-1 in the final on Saturday 23 July.

However, for the Gugulethu star a special welcome was organised for her by the Gugulethu Sports Council (GSC), Ward 39 councillor Thembinkosi Mjuza and mobile company Cell C on Sunday 31 July. After touching down at the Cape Town International airport earlier in the day, Cesane received a welcome fit for a queen at the Gugulethu Sports complex before she was later whisked away to join her family in NY50.

Among those who attended the event was Deputy minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Mcebisi Skwatsha.

Member of the GSC Raymond Pienaar described Cesane’s victory as a motivation to her peers. He said she put the Gugulethu on the map.

He said Cesane has inspired many young footballers not only in Gugulethu but around the country.

“The Sunday event was the way of thanking and showing love to her. She made us so proud. We are so lucky to have her in our community and we believe the whole nation is proud of her,” said Pienaar.

He urged other young children to refrain from doing wrong things and focus on sport.

Cesane expressed her gratitude to all people who supported her during the tournament and at the special event.

“I didn’t expect that it would be something big. I knew that the community would welcome me from the airport because I was communicating with some community leaders while I was still in Gauteng. But I was surprised when I saw the crowd,” explained Cesane.

She stated that the tournament was tough but with resilience and hard work they managed to go through. “The coach always tells us to be calm and stay focused. And play as a team,” said Cesane.

The University of Western Cape Ladies player vowed to work hard to make her supporters proud.

“I thank all the people who were behind me and the team, especially my family, friends and supporters.

“I promise I’ll always do my best at all times,” she concluded.

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