Sundowns Ladies, Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini never alone between the sticks

Andile Dlamini of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies celebrates after winning the 2023 CAF Womens Champions League final against Sporting Club Casablanca.

Andile Dlamini of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies celebrates after winning the 2023 CAF Womens Champions League final against Sporting Club Casablanca. Picture: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

Published Nov 22, 2023


Andile Dlamini draws a lot of strength from her mother and whenever her mom cries tears of joy, it brings out a lot of emotions and deep introspection from the highly rated goalkeeper.

Dlamini has risen to stardom in recent months, thanks to her efforts for Mamelodi Sundowns’ Ladies and Banyana Banyana. Her talent between the sticks hasn’t only won her national and individual awards with both teams, but hearts all over the continent as well.

As Sundowns received a heroes’ welcome at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday after winning their second CAF Women’s Champions League crown in three years, her pillar of strength was also there. Dlamini’s mother, Amanda, was among the group of supporters that welcomed Banyana ba Style with song, dance and chants at the airport.

For Dlamini it was emotional moment to see her mother sob tears of joy, given that she’s always with her in spirit when she’s solely tasked with safeguarding Sundowns and Banyana’s goals.

“Sundowns is my family and my safe space,” said Dlamini yesterday.

“Obviously, I like winning, and that’s what I want to see (above) everything. My mom plays with me on the field, and that’s one of the reasons she’s emotional about this victory.”

Amanda’s support has done Andile a world of good. The SA Sports Star of the Year can now face every challenge that’s thrown her way head-on, given her mental fortitude.

“I am a strong individual and a team player more than anything,” said Dlamini before explaining the role of divine intervention.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. God puts in you in places where he wants you to understand who He is.

“And when He pulls you out (of) it, He wants you to be victorious. I believe that He has done an incredible job.”

One of the recent challenges that Dlamini faced was missing out on playing a part in the 2023 World Cup because coach Desiree Ellis preferred Kaylin Swart over her in goals.

That decision didn’t sit well with some members of the footballing family, despite Ellis stressing that Dlamini was struggling with match fitness, having been injured before the event.

But Dlamini didn’t allow that to deter her. Instead, she used it as a motivation ahead of the Cosafa Championships and Champions League, where she kept clean sheets in both tournaments and won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament awards.

“I am thankful to the support team, technical staff and my teammates for always being there for me. Mental health is very important and I believe at the club they look after you.

“I am well taken care of (at the club). I am always happy wherever I am. If you don’t believe that, go check every video of where I am – whether it’s at Banyana or Sundowns.”