Banyana Banyana are going to the CAF 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations tournament which starts this weekend
Media coverage of women’s sports of all kinds continues to suffer from national indifference compared to male-dominated sports types.
This weekend is shaping up to be no different despite the fact that the women’s national team – that’s Banyana Banyana for those who may have forgotten – are going to the CAF 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations tournament which starts this weekend.
As is the tradition, media of all descriptions paid scant or no attention to this very important tournament on the women’s football calendar; even more so they ignore the players’ careers. This type of thing is called patriarchy by those of a political inclination. It simply means what Pappa wants Pappa gets, regardless of what Mama wishes for.
Instead of some token coverage the media, as usual, went gaga over what in truth was but a mere league soccer game between some well-known football clubs who are based in Gauteng. The one is known as Orlando Pirates and the other as Mamelodi Sundowns.
Now they are by all descriptions local clubs which just so happen to have a smattering of fans in other places outside of Gauteng. Whereas Banyana Banyana, by virtue of them being adorned in the colours of our national flag, are a team that rightly belongs to all of us.
But do you think the media cares about those little inconvenient facts?
Let me give you the lowdown on that Banyana score.
The CAF women’s tournament is as humongous, or at least ought to be, as the male event after which it is styled. We should be concerned at this lack of attention to the women’s game, because should they win over there, which is very likely judging from the way they have played over the last season, we will all enjoy the good feeling of pride and joy that goes with being winners.
This lack of attention is so bad that not even the presence of the one other important male in the football careers of the women players, namely Danny Jordaan, wishing them well ahead of the tournament attracted as much as a glance from our national media.
The other male, the president of our country, was also nowhere to be seen. I bet you come March next year, or thereabouts when it is the turn of the males to play in a tournament of that calibre, you will see a lot of media and men in political suits at Safa House. The males look out for each other’s interests very well in that way.
Now you tell me what is wrong with what the women footballers are doing that does not appeal to the males who control the levers of the media coverage machinery? Because, as I see it, it looks as though it is only Danny Jordaan and yours truly who gives two hoots about what the national women’s football team gets up to.
OK, the third male is at Sasol, apparently he also cares. But you will agree there are just too few of us who even care to take our mothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends and alternative wives to the women’s games, even were these to be played in our backyards.
Maybe Desiree Ellis, the national women’s football coach, must organise something dramatic to attract the attention of especially the males all around the country and those in the media houses.
One plan could be for some brave female souls of an activist bent to get rid of their dress tops and stop the caravan of indifference to their events in the tracks. This is by no means original but yours truly saw something like this happen recently in Europe where many world leaders met over a long fought war.
Some lady jumped bare breasted in front of the convoy of one of the guests and the pictures of that event went right around the world.