“She knew‚ even as a little girl. So I left her. And then I encouraged her.
“I was an athlete at school. So she gets it from me‚” Kgatlana’s mom laughed.
“Her father was a footballer and I was an athlete‚ a sprinter.”
Kgatlana’s father‚ Gabriel‚ travelled with her to Dakar.
He said there will be a party – no doubt a long-lasting one – for his daughter in their home town of Mohlakeng in Randfontein‚ soon after she returns from duty for Banyana in next week’s friendlies in Cape Town against Sweden and Netherlands.
Gabriel Kgatlana said Thembi was a good student at school.
“I saw her talent‚ and also off the field too. At school Thembi was wise‚ wise‚” he said.
“She was about eight years old when we saw her football talent. She would play with the boys in the street.