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Banyana Hero Magaia On Her ‘Bread Winner’ Nickname

Banyana Banyana striker Hildah ‘Bread Winner’ Magaia says the team’s historic qualification for the knockout stages at the FIFA Women’s World Cup means a lot to her and her teammates.

Magaia produced a Player of the Match performance, as South Africa defeated Italy 3-2 in a nail-biting Group G decider in Wellington on Wednesday. The result meant that Banyana finished second in the Group with four points behind Sweden, who finished on nine points but ahead of Italy with three points.

Banyana lost their opening match 2-1 to Sweden, before suffering a heart-breaking 2-2 draw with Argentina and almost lost their place in the last 16 round when Italy equalised late in the decider, however Desiree Ellis’ team went on to clinch the historic victory at a World Cup and progression.

The Limpopo-born forward, who has now scored two goals at the World Cup so far, told the media after the match that it was an emotional victory.

“They call me the ‘Bread Winner’, so without the ‘bread winner’ there is no bread, I had to provide the bread for the nation,” said Magaia.  

“It really means a lot, especially knowing that we were so close to going home but it really means a lot. It is an emotional one, personally I can say since it’s my first World Cup it’s really an emotional one, I don’t want to lie but it’s all God’s glory for me.

Progression to the knockout phase also means more money for the players from FIFA. As it stands each of the 23 players is guaranteed R1.14 million and Magaia adds says the money will go a long way in helping at home, where she is also a bread winner.

“It means I will be able to help my family,” she added.

“I’ll be able to do everything for my mother because I’m the one who’s taking care of her. I’m the bread winner, so I’ll be doing everything for my mom.”

Banyana will now meet the Netherlands in round of 16 on Sunday morning (04:00)

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.