The busi­ness brain Karabo MathangTshabuse

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour Health -

Karabo Mathang-tshabuse is one busy 30 year old. The first woman to be recog­nised and li­censed as a soc­cer agent by the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (SAFA) and a pres­ence on the BBC UK’S list of 100 Women of 2015, her day starts at 4am and in­cludes law stud­ies at Wits Univer­sity, run­ning her soc­cer agency, P Man­age­ment, and par­ent­ing two daugh­ters Lu­funo (eight) and Lu­tendo (six) to­gether with her hus­band Josy.

The Soweto-born en­tre­pre­neur was raised by soc­cer-lov­ing par­ents, at­tend­ing her first match at five, but her hobby turned se­ri­ous dur­ing her univer­sity stud­ies in me­dia and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

“I used to go to games with Josy (now my hus­band) and my friend Nonhlanhla Nkosi, and with so much soc­cer tal­ent in SA, the three of us saw a busi­ness pos­si­bil­ity in our pas­sion. We started P Man­age­ment in 2007 – we played around with words like ‘pro’ and ‘player’, and ‘P’ was the com­pro­mise – host­ing coach­ing clin­ics and re­cruit­ing players,” she says. “Nonhlanhla was a mar­ket­ing man­ager at Kaizer Chiefs, and helped us book coaches for clin­ics.”

A year later, she took things to the next level, com­plet­ing a FIFA exam that gave her of­fi­cial agent sta­tus. When Nonhlanhla left P Man­age­ment to pur­sue other in­ter­ests in mar­ket­ing, Karabo and Josy set up of­fices in Joburg’s New­town. And then, in 2014, she be­gan study­ing law, so that she could be ex­pertly in­formed in her work.

“My job in­volves scout­ing and sign­ing up tal­ent, pair­ing our players with clubs, and se­cur­ing spon­sor­ships, and that in­volves all kinds of le­gal is­sues,” she says.

As for sex­ism: “Be­ing a woman in this male-dom­i­nated world meant peo­ple didn’t al­ways take me se­ri­ously. But there were also ben­e­fits in that, as I stood out and seemed in­trigu­ing. It’s great to have opened the door as the first fe­male soc­cer agent. Now I want to men­tor, share my ex­pe­ri­ence and see more women en­ter the in­dus­try.”

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