Premium Journalist
1 minute read
2 Feb 2019
9:44 am

Banyana invited to attend 2019 State of the Nation Address


Banyana Banyana duo Desiree Ellis and Thembi Kgatlana have been invited to the 2019 State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday in Cape Town as guests of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Desiree Ellis, coach of South Africa, during the Banyana Banyana afternoon training session. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Ellis and Kgatlana were recently honoured at the Confederation of African Football (Caf) at the annual awards in Senegal.

Ellis took 2018 Caf Women’s National Team Coach of the Year award, while Kgatlana won the Caf Women’s National Player of the Year and Caf Goal of the Year.

However, the Australian-based Kgatlana will be declining the Sona invitation as she has prior club commitments on that day.

“On a different day, I would not have missed this for the world, but there are some pressing issues regarding my club that I have to attend to and it is not clear how long they will take, so, unfortunately, I will have to decline the invite.

“But thank you to the State President for the invitation, I am truly humbled by this gesture,” said Kgatlana.

Said Ellis: “2018 has been an amazing year, and so far 2019 has started with a bang not just for me but Banyana Banyana. What a better way to kick-start this with an invite to one of the most sought-after events of the year.

“I really appreciate this honour of being at this prestigious gathering. Thank you very much to the President,” said Ellis.

“And this also comes hot on the heels of the President calling us personally and wishing us well ahead of the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon in Ghana.”

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