Leadership and its moral segment mirrors the role that human beings have assumed in taking control of their immediate space (life) and actions (eternal jobs).
The truth is, if leaders are to perform these functions to their absolute threshold, a lot must be given and sometimes taken from the original bearers.
A lot of this is synonymous with the amount of work, sacrifices and application, that one Siyabulela ‘Siya’ Loyilane (Ms), had to invest in her absolute quest to be amongst the few brightest leaders of her marginalized women brigade.
As an obligatory mandate and typical of a stance assumed by FARPost, we unravel a shining diamond amongst a plethora of emerging young women leaders in South Africa.
a) Who is ‘Siya’ Loyilane?
Born and bred in Ngxwalane location in King Williamstown 34 years ago, ‘Siya’ was a talented tennis and hockey prospect, and represented her local team and Border (Under 13s).
Her feisty and steadfast character was already evident in her teen years, as she participated in debate, speech contest and was a class captain.
In 2007, she relocated to Gauteng where she embarked on numerous projects in leadership, including the formation of SHUMBA Football Development, as Consultant for the South African Football Players Union (SASPU) and the Administration of ABC Motsepe League clubs (Administration and Governance)
b) The SHUMBA Project
Siya is the founder member of SHUMBA Football Development NPC, a community structure that unites young players from different background and socioeconomic standards.
SHUMBA has 8 coaches including the former Zimbabwe football greats (Edelbert Dinha and Innocent Chikoya) and is made up of 5 age groups ranging from Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and SAB Regional league teams, a super feeder for teams in the Multichoice Diski Challenge, SAB, ABC Motsepe League, PSL and GladAfrica Championship.
Amongst the products from the project include:
1. Thabang Mnyembane (Polokwane City)
2. Wandi Khwinana (Kaizer Chiefs)
3. Thabo Mokwana (Polokwane City)
4. Sphiwe “Bizzah” Matlala ( BDF X11—Botswana Premier League)
SHUMBA has tight partnerships with Super Falcons Ladies team and Kaizer Chiefs Football Club (SAB League team)
c) Women in Sport Leadership Academy (WISLA)
As a member of WISLA (an organization centered around the promotion, development and training of emerging women leaders) an affiliate of African Union Sports Council (AUSC), she is at a prime position to accelerate the emancipation, total empowerment and total inclusivity agenda of young women in sports, based on the specific requirements of excellence and not favouritism.
The programme is coordinated by Ntambi Ravele, the iconic and legendary sports leader with immense experience in leadership and governance at different levels of sport, a major advantage and mentor for Ms Loyilane to learn from.
d) Barcelona studies
In 2019, she enrolled for a Masters in Football and Management Business studies, with Sports Institute Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain). The course aims to develop football leaders of tomorrow with a sound grasp of management, business, marketing landscape, financial compliance and overall insight into the football business.
Amongst her classmates are Troy Deeney (Watford FC captain), Adam Bogdan (Former Liverpool goalkeeper) and Stephanie Fortier-Grondin (Canadian FA).
e) NEW NAFSA Acting CEO
On the 8th of June, the National Football Supporters Associations appointed Ms Loyilane as an Acting CEO. The association aims to represent the interests of football loyalists and continue to protect their love for supporting their favourite players and their clubs.
Her main aim is to awaken the sleeping giant and maximize its role within the broader football arena by enhancing their image and programs within the central football collective.
The organization hopes that she will bring her administrative touch, strict adherence and compliance acumen needed in corporate governance settings and financial management skills required in the football in sector.
The organization’s struggle for acceptance, leverage and eventual presence in all the media sector is the thing of the past and will be replaced by a vibrant attitude and sustainable corporate model befitting a national supporter’s home.
If South Africa and the entire sports leadership is to change, perhaps we need to embrace her talents and afford her the necessary space and time to learn and complete all the tasks bestowed upon her solid African shoulders.
Siya’s persona is best captured by Marie Curie who emphasized that, “We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
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