By Agreement Mabunda
GA-MAUPA – Football is usually regarded as a men’s sport but Lebohang Ramalepe went against all odds to pursue her dreams of being a professional female soccer player.
Born and bred in Ga – Maupa under Greater Letaba, the 29-year-old now plays her trade for Dinamo Minsk FC in Belarus, in Europe.
Ramalepe says her family played a huge role in her quest for her dreams from her days as a learner in Maufota Primary School to Mmaba Secondary School.
In her early life, Ramalepe says she grew fond of soccer when she used to watch matches with her uncles on TV and would sometime join boys her age at a local ground.
“Sometimes they would let me play but, in most times, I would just watch them play’’, says Ramalepe
She started playing soccer at the age of 10 in Primary school with the under 13 boys and from there it was a hobby to her because she would even play after school.
IN ACTION: Lebogang “Jumaima” Ramalepe continues to shine in Dinamo Minsk FC colours.
She later joined ladies team called Fighters based in Ga-Sedibeng in 2008.
Ramalepe says she joined Ladies Team in Ga-Sedibeng because there were no other sports in her village that she would participate in, and football was the only thing that she would do.
Because she was passionate about soccer, it encouraged her uncle, David to form ladies’ team in her village so that she wouldn’t feel left out although boys wouldn’t let her play.
Ramalepe got her breakthrough in 2014 when she got a call to the national team Banyana Banyana.
In 2018, Lebohang won 2nd place in COSAFA Women’s Championships.
She was then appointed as a vice captain for FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
In 2020 she signed her first professional contract with Belarus, and she believes that it was through her hard work and sweat that she got to sign the contract.
“I have achieved a lot through my career, but this was the only chance I wanted because all I wanted was to give my family a better life”, she said.
“And what I feel will be best for me is to give back to the community and not let good talents like mine go to waste”, she added.