Dynamic, driven, kind, trail-blazing and resilient are some of the words you’ll find yourself using when describing this young woman, Thando Sibiya.
Loyal Bidvest Wits fans will now get exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and news when Bidvest Wits Football Club premiers its own show next month.
The magazine-styled show, called ‘Bidvest Wits TV’, will kick off on March 12 on SuperSport 4 (channel 204).
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Bidvest Wits marketing manager Danielle van der Merwe said this is a project that the club has “been working on for a while now”.
“In the modern world your support base extends far beyond the community that you claim and play in, and in a professional sporting environment you need to give good exposure to your sponsors as well,” said van der Merwe. “So the two fit in nicely together. So essentially what the TV show will be is a window into this football club.”
While it has taken many years for the team to join other football clubs who have turned to creating their television shows, Van der Merwe explained that launching the show now has to do with “the growth of the club at the right pace”.
“I think that football clubs need to focus on football first. It’s all very well spending money, and have no doubt that this will cost us money to produce, but you have to do things in the right order for your business and that’s why for our business the time is now.”
The club has grown in strength over the last few seasons, finishing third last year and fourth in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) the year before.
What fans can expect to see
The 30 minute-long TV show will be aired every second Thursday monthly. The show go beyond match highlights and will showcase exclusive video footage of the Bidvest Wits players, updates and information on the academy and management and behind the scenes footage.
“Video and visual side of media is becoming content that people want … So a lot of people will get to see what we do behind our doors,” said van de Merwe.
The launch of Explosive Mondays, where student football teams from eight universities around the country will compete every Monday for the next nine weeks, was festive and filled with entertainment on and off the field.
The match, played in front of a packed a home crowd was beamed live by DStv channel Supersport, as will 15 out of the total 33 games, and this raised the atmosphere to fever-pitch on a frosty night in the Highveld.
Prizes on offer for those who braved the cold added to the atmosphere. Cash prizes for the most vocal fans and res’s with the most colourful supporters, a raffle for five cases of beer and a sea of freebies made it a memorable evening.
Memorable that is, for all except the Wits student team, who were a goal down within the first 15 minutes, and forced to chase shadows in the second half when UNW put on an exhibition of idiski, or more precisely “ukupencila” – vernacular in South African townships for “keep-ball” and dribbling.
While the team from the North West was much fitter, quicker, and more aggressive in attack throughout the 90 minutes, the score at half-time could have been in Wits’s favour had the home team turned their dominance in possession into goals.
Wits were comfortable on the ball playing crisp, one-touch football that delighted Witsies, who chanted war-cries and bayed for NWU’s blood.
Phenyo Mongalo, Zachary Cohen, and captain Mzimkhulu Nhlengethwa were inventive in midfield and fed the strikers well, but Wits front-line just wasn’t up to the task and squandered plenty of chances to score.
Wits paid the ultimate price for their wastefulness, conceding a penalty in the 11th minute and another three goals in the final quarter of the game.
Wits head coach, Karabo Mogudi attributed the disappointing performance to the recent university vacations, which he said affected his team’s fitness.
“If our conditioning level was at the required standard we would have done much better,” he said.
Mogudi said NWU were fitter and sharper than his charges because they had been training in preparation for National First Division (NFD) play-offs.
He also said the tournament was a great initiative, but stressed that it was important for the players to be successful on and off the field.
“I’ll only know the benefits of the tournament at the end of the year, when everyone passes and does well in their studies … when they come back to me and say ‘coach, I don’t owe the University anything”.