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Bongiwe Msomi | From filler to national netball captain
“As long as my legs still allow me to play, I will train hard, prepare and go for trials, where I hopefully will get selected.
Bongiwe Msomi’s father disapproved of his daughter’s training attire and her mother seemed disinterested in her newfound extracurricular activity, which “distracted me from household chores”.
Had the two known that their daughter would, years later, captain the national netball team to the world championships, perhaps Msomi’s parents would have been their daughter’s main cheerleaders.
Coming from a traditional background, where “we embrace our Zulu culture”, Msomi explains that certain aspects of her netball journey, which included wearing short skirts, or skorts, were frowned on by her father, who was an induna – a tribal councillor.
“When I would leave home to attend practice, I would wear a long skirt or dress and change when I got to the netball court. After practice, I would change back. But it was all worth it.”
Her mother initially had concerns about the amount of time Msomi spent playing netball.
“To my mother, netball was a waste of time because I was not home to do chores ... To this day, I’m not a fan of doing any home chores.
“But it is amazing that the more determined I was to play the sport and get better at it, the more the perspectives of those around me changed. I think I have earned the respect of my family over the years,” she says.
Her eyes well up as she speaks about how the sport she holds dear to her heart has allowed her to achieve things she never thought possible.
“I am able to support those around me. I have plans for what I still want to do for my family. Every time I think about netball, I get this overwhelming feeling of gratitude because of what I have been able to achieve because of it,” says Msomi.