Andile Dlamini: the singing goal­keeper

They might be win­ning games but it doesn’t bring big bucks, says Banyana goalie Andile Dlamini – that’s why she’s branch­ing out into mu­sic


THE team has been show­ered with glory, won sev­eral tour­na­ment ti­tles and they’ve clinched nu­mer­ous awards – yet for many play­ers mak­ing a liv­ing from the game they love so much isn’t easy. Banyana Banyana may be streaks ahead of Bafana Bafana when it comes to win­ning games but they’re light years be­hind when it comes to salaries. And so its stars of­ten turn to their other tal­ents in a bid to make ends meet – and Andile Dlamini is a per­fect ex­am­ple of this. When the 25-year-old goal­keeper, who is her fam­ily’s sole bread­win­ner, isn’t de­flect­ing balls in the posts, she’s break­ing out her moves in the stu­dio and flex­ing her vo­cal mus­cles as a singer. She isn’t the first foot­baller to branch out into mu­sic – re­mem­ber Benni Mc Carthy’s col­lab with TKZee on Shi­bobo back in 1998? For Benni, branch­ing out into mu­sic was a bit of fun. For Andile it’s about do­ing what she loves and yes, it’s also about mak­ing some ex­tra cash on the side. It breaks her heart, the Mamelodi Sun­downs player says, to see her male coun­ter­parts get­ting “filthy rich” while women play­ers can’t rely on the sport they’re de­voted to to make a liv­ing. While salary fig­ures are con­fi­den­tial, a 2014 probe by the Demo­cratic Al­liance re­vealed Banyana Banyana play­ers earned be­tween R2 000 and R5 000 a game, while Bafana Bafana play­ers were paid R60 000 each for a win­ning game and R30 000 for a draw.

And un­like Bafana, Banyana Banyana don’t earn monthly salaries from their teams and have to rely on match fees, daily al­lowances and bonuses to get by.

The team was crowned the 2017 CAF na­tional team of the year af­ter win­ning the Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onship in Zim­babwe in Septem­ber last year af­ter they de­feated the hosts 2-1. It’s hard not to be bit­ter, Andile ad­mits. “Know­ing you’re play­ing for the same club and same na­tional team, it’s sad to see men mak­ing a lot of money and get­ting filthy rich.

“They drive posh cars like Bent­leys, BMWs, Mer­cedes-Ben­zes and Minis while we’re strug­gling to make a liv­ing.

“That’s why I also do mu­sic. But, quite frankly, it’s not only about money – it’s also about the pas­sion.”

That pas­sion was poured out with DJ Tonic HD (aka An­thony Mathe­bula), when they worked in stu­dio with Mazwe ‘Maz’ Mthethwa, son of Kalawa Jazmee co-founder and Bokone Mu­sic owner Don Laka.

Andile, who per­forms un­der the stage name Andy D, met DJ Tonic HD through her friend and Mamelodi Sun­downs team­mate Bongiwe Thusi.

The goalie col­lab­o­rated with DJ Tonic HD on the sin­gle Unem­beza, which was re­leased at the end of Jan­uary – and while it may be a catchy tune, there’s more to it than sing-a-long fun.

TEA­SPOON, as Andile is af­fec­tion­ately known among her team­mates be­cause of the shape of her body, ex­plains the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind her de­but track. It means “con­scious” and car­ries a mes­sage she hopes will curb vi­o­lent crime. It had al­ways been her dream to fol­low in the foot­steps of her Tem­bisa home­boy, the late Rhythm City ac­tor Dumi Masilela, who was killed in a hi­jack­ing last year.

“He used to tackle a lot of things – he was a mu­si­cian, an ac­tor and a soc­cer player,” she says sadly.

Dumi’s death, which came af­ter a friend was hi­jacked in Andile’s drive­way, was the last straw for the foot­baller.

“I cried pro­fusely and told my mother I wanted to do some­thing, that I would do some­thing. Per­pe­tra­tors need to get the mes­sage that they are not only hurt­ing their vic­tims but many fam­i­lies get hurt too,” she says.

“Unem­beza is a happy and sad song, be­cause I want peo­ple to dance while they are lis­ten­ing to its mes­sage,” she tells us.

It was for­mer Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw and Andile’s team­mates who played a key role in get­ting her to the mu­sic stu­dio.

The team was play­ing a tour­na­ment in Cyprus in 2015 when their hosts in­vited them to sing a song.

“My team­mates, know­ing I usu­ally lead the singing back in the dress­ing room, asked me to sing but I was re­luc­tant. Then Vera just came straight up to me and said, ‘Sing for us’. I started singing John Leg­end’s Or­di­nary Peo­ple and ev­ery­body loved my voice.”

IF SHE had to choose be­tween mu­sic and foot­ball, well, she just couldn’t. “It’s like ask­ing a mother to choose a favourite be­tween her two chil­dren,” says Andile, who also coaches foot­ball at King David High School in Links­field, Joburg.

She plans to make mu­sic along­side her foot­ball ca­reer, she adds.

Foot­ball has been a part of Andile’s life since she was four years old, when she’d watch her un­cles play four-a-side games in Tem­bisa. One day, one of them wasn’t around and they asked Andile to join in as a striker.

The lit­tle girl scored and the un­cles were nearly as thrilled as she was. “That made me fall in love with foot­ball,” she re­calls.

“My dream was to be a su­per striker. I wanted to see my­self on the score sheet reg­u­larly, like Por­tia Modise, not de­fend­ing the goals. But God had other plans for me,” she says.

When she was 13, Andile was play­ing as a right back for Pho­mo­long Ladies FC be­fore she was snatched by Sun­downs the fol­low­ing year. She was back to her old po­si­tion as a striker but one day their “way­ward” goal­keeper was miss­ing.

“The coach [Anna Monate] looked at my big hands and my height and said, ‘ you will be my goal­keeper’. I wasn’t happy about her de­ci­sion. I felt as if some­one was tak­ing away my dream of be­ing a su­per striker.”

But in 2010 the lanky goalie was roped into the SA U-20 team and the fol­low­ing year she broke through to the Banyana team and went on to make her de­but against Botswana that year.

“It’s still a dream – I was shocked. On my first day [at camp] I was ner­vous and didn’t know how to greet them. I wanted to go back home when I saw peo­ple like Por­tia Modise and Amanda Dlamini, but I got a warm wel­come.”

Andile’s par­ents couldn’t be prouder of her. Her mom, Dianna Hat­tingh, and step­dad, Rhodes Hat­tingh, who have been to­gether since Andile was 15, are keen to see their daugh­ter play over­seas.

“I am a proud fa­ther,” Rhodes says. “I bought Andile her first soc­cer boots and I used to buy a six-pack of beers and go watch all her games. I just want to see her play­ing in Europe al­though her mother wants to see her daugh­ter play­ing in China.”

Dianna nods. “She has achieved a lot in SA and she must now go fur­ther in big­ger leagues. China is the place to go.”

Andile, how­ever, says she has no im­me­di­ate plans to play over­seas – or to start a fam­ily, she adds.

She is scarred by her par­ents’ di­vorce and says, “I don’t think I will ever get mar­ried or have chil­dren.”

Andile in­tends to study busi­ness man­age­ment one day but for now her fo­cus is on her team – and her mu­sic.

“And I know I won’t fail.”

‘It’s sad to see men mak­ing a lot of money and get­ting filthy rich’

Andile Dlamini plays for one of the wealth­i­est clubs in Africa but says fe­male play­ers can’t rely on the sport to earn a liv­ing.

ABOVE LEFT: Andile has re­leased a sin­gle called Unem­beza with DJ Tonic HD (An­thony Mathe­bula). ABOVE RIGHT: Andile fell in love with foot­ball as a young­ster when she watched her un­cles play four-a-side games.

ABOVE: Andile with rap­per Nasty C and for­mer team­mate Amanda Dlamini. LEFT: With rugby player Tim Agaba.

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