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Heroes' welcome for Banyana Banyana

Amanda Maliba Entertainment reporter
Banyana Banya players receive a warm welcome at the OR Tambo International Airport after their heroics at the Wafcon tournament in Morocco.
Banyana Banya players receive a warm welcome at the OR Tambo International Airport after their heroics at the Wafcon tournament in Morocco.
Image: Amanda Maliba

Hundreds of fans descended to OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park on the East Rand to welcome the Queens of Africa Banyana Banyana. 

The national female squad arrived at the airport on Tuesday morning after winning the Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco on Saturday. 

OR Tambo is abuzz with celebration songs from fans, most who wore soccer jerseys, placards and waved South African flags in anticipation of their arrival.

Also present at OR Tambo were 16 residents from the Soweto Old Age home who said they wanted to come celebrate the homecoming of the Queens.

Joseph Shayi, 73, said he woke up earlier than normal to make it OR Tambo.

"We were on the road by 6am. As someone who played soccer while growing up, I am excited to be here," he said.

Radio personality Dineo Ranaka said what Banyana Banyana have achieved has restored the national pride from a football perspective. 

"I wouldn't miss this for the world because it is really important that they have our support. 

"I think the conversation should now stop being about gender but more about skills, the discipline and the respect for the nation and what we stand for as a country. 

"The girls are skilled and they showed great sportsmanship. They represented us well and should be paid what they are worth," Ranaka said. 

This is a developing story.

malibaa@sowetan.co.za

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