SOCCER-CRAZY KARABO CRACKS IT
KARABO Mathang has always loved soccer, so it was no surprise when she recently became the first South African woman to qualify as a Fifa-accredited soccer agent.
The achievement did not come easy for this 23-year-old lass from Orlando East, Soweto.
Mathang had to rewrite the examination three times before she passed.
"I have never before written such a difficult examination," she admits.
"It was not only about knowing the rules of the game but, more importantly, the regulations that govern players."
Mathang also holds an international relations degree from Wits University.
She is now waiting to be registered with Fifa once her six-month probation period is over.
When asked how it felt to be the first female South African to have passed the Fifa exam, Mathang responded: "It is such an excellent feeling, especially at this stage of our democracy when almost everything has already been achieved by black people in general and females in particular."
Her job, she said, was to scout for talented soccer players.
"At the moment my focus is on youngsters around the age of 12," she said, adding that her search will begin in Durban next week.
Revealing how she got her big break Mathang said she was at a soccer match when she met Josy Tshabuse, who told her about the idea of becoming a soccer agent.
"Josy told me that he had always dreamed about being a football agent or running a sports management company," Mathang said.
She said she immediately fell in love with the idea and joined Tshabuse as a business partner. The two now run P Management, a sports management company.
Mathang, who recently started a social female soccer team with her friends, is also excited by the coming Fifa Soccer World Cup.
"This is not only a great opportunity for soccer players but for all of South Africa," she said.
She said she was grateful to her politician father and fashion designer mother for their support.
She believes her parents' continued support has actually moulded her into the person she is today.
"At some point I was confused about which career I wanted to follow. I did not know whether to lean towards the arts or pursue political science," she said.
Mathang, who is married with a child, said though her schedule is beginning to be quite hectic, she always makes time for her family.
"I switch my laptop off when I get home and start with my wifely duties," she said.
Mathang urged young people to be more vigorous when pursuing their dreams.
"They must not only follow their dreams but engage with their dreams in a manner that makes them achievable," she said.
"Many young people dream of being rich, famous or an expert in a certain field, but they don't quite know how to get there.
"My advice to them is never lose hope and live your dream everyday until you achieve it.
"Invest in your own future."