Banyana Banyana star Nompumelelo Mpumi Nyandeni says winning the South African Football Journalists Association, SAFJA Award is more than anything she will cherish forever.

The TS Galaxy forward went one step better after being nominated for the 2021 award. As she has now scooped the 2022 SAFJA Footballer of the Year award.

Also read: Mpumi Nyandeni named 2022 Safja footballer of the year 

Nyandeni finished ahead of Boitumelo Rabale of Mamelodi Sundowns. Former Tshwane University of Technology star Busisiwe Ndimeni and the duo of University of Western Cape in Amogelang Motau and Lonathemba Mhlongo.

The forward has been crowned the award for the first time. The recognition was just reward for her hugely impressive displays at her former club, Janine Van Wyk football club, during the 2021/2022 Hollywoodbets Super League campaign.

The veteran striker, Mbuzi, as Nyandeni is affectionately known, was the league’s top goalscorer after netting 30 goals in 30 matches last season.

NOMPUMELELO NYANDENI HUMBLED BY SAFJA AWARD

The exciting forward, who turns 36 in August, has expressed her excitement after being presented with the award.

“I am truly humbled, I feel blessed for achieving this milestone,” Nyandeni told LimSportsZone.

“For me, this means a lot because it shows that my hard work is being recognized. Thanks to the South African Football Journalists Association.”

ADVICE TO YOUNG STARS

The TS Galaxy star has also advised aspiring women footballers about the game. Encouraging them to work hard to be successful.

“What I can say to young women stars, they must never give up on their dreams, they will get there,” she said.

“But it needs hard work, stay discipline, dedication, and determination are the keys. They must respect the game so that it can reward them.”

By Clifton Mabasa

Banyana Banyana international Nompumelelo Mpumi Nyandeni has been crowned the 2022 South African Football Journalists Association Women’s Safja Footballer of the Year. The veteran forward went one step better after being nominated for the 2021 award.

Her performances for her previous club JVW FC stood out, as she fought off stiff competition from fellow nominees Boitumelo Rabale of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. University of Western Cape duo Amogelang Motau and Lonathemba Mhlongo. As well as Busisiwe Ndimeni, who left Tshwane University of Technology to join TS Galaxy.

Capped 149 times at senior international level Nyandeni walked away with the R15 000 prize money. The awards function was held at Tsogo Sun in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, on Tuesday 21 March.

 MPUMI NYANDENI SCOOPS SAFJA FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR

She received the most votes from Safja members. This is after she also finished the 2022 season of the Hollywoodbets Super League as top scorer.

At 35, the two-time Olympics participant is proving to be an inspiration to the younger generation. Her latest achievement will serve as proof that age is just a number.

Meanwhile, Safja have also announced the renewal of its partnership with licensed betting operator Hollywoodbets. The partnership began at Safja’s inception three years ago. It is exciting to be continuing to forge the strong bond.

Our founding partner has played an integral role in the initiatives of the organisation, such as the Safja Men’s and Women’s Footballer of the Year awards, as well as the special Journalist of the Year accolade.

Also read: SAFA Hollywoodbets Super League IS BACK

“It’s been a great journey with our partners Hollywoodbets, as we now mark three years since we started working together in staging these awards,” said SAFJA chairperson Velile Mnyandu. 

“Our partnership started shortly before they came on board as title sponsors of the women’s Super League. Through our awards and particularly the prize money for the Safja Women’s Footballer of the Year accolade. They have shown great passion and commitment to the growth of women’s football in South Africa.

Mpumi Nyandeni named 2022 Safja footballer of the year 
Mpumi Nyandeni named 2022 Safja footballer of the year 

“We look forward to the growth of this partnership as we now embark on the major step of mentorship within SAFJA. Hollywoodbets will be integral in this initiative as the young journalists developed through this programme would give enhanced coverage of the Hollywoodbets Super League.”

Hollywoodbets Senior Soccer Sponsorship Coordinator, Indira Albuquerque, added:

“We are delighted to be a part of the Safja Awards once again this year.

“To contribute to rewarding well-performing athletes in football, as well as all deserving journalists in the industry. We pride ourselves in being involved with the development of the women’s game and will continue to do so. 

“The Hollywoodbets Super League has accentuated the platform for players to compete and be recognized. We hope that South African football as whole continues growing from strength to strength. Finally, congratulations to Nompumelelo Nyandeni and well done to all the nominees.”