#TuksFootball: Ncamisile Shongwe is committed to making a difference on and off the field

Posted on February 23, 2023

Plants and football are the two things Ncamisile Shongwe is genuinely passionate about. 

Whether the PhD Horticulture Science student at Tuks is dirtying her hands in the soil or playing with her heart out against opponents does not matter. Her goal remains the same. She wants to make a difference, and she is succeeding. 

Shongwe does not think twice about putting her body on the line. Trying to defend or disrupt her opponents. It boils down to her being continuously in the midst of the action and going down hard quite often.  

Taking knocks for Tuks does not faze her. All that matters is that her team should win. Shongwe has been playing football since age five and has no plans to stop in the foreseeable future.

"Football is, to me, a counterbalance to studying. Most days, I am utterly focused on my studies. So after a hectic day getting an opportunity to play football is escapism. When I am on the field, I revive my 'batteries'.

"Football has also helped me to gain confidence as a person. I don't want to use the word introvert, but I am not getting away from the fact that playing football made me more confident about interacting with other people. One of the most rewarding things about football is the people you meet. I am fascinated by different languages and cultures."

2023 is a big year for the TuksFootball women’s team. Last year, they qualified to play in the Hollywoodbets Super League. Despite a tough start to the new season, Shongwe is not despairing. 

"At times, we did play good football. We only need to be more patient because we are a young team. After five or six games, we will start to hold our own against the best. I can promise we will not be relegated at the end of the season. Our goal is to be one of the top eight teams."

Shongwe can't help but get excited when she explains why she decided to do her doctorate in horticulture. 

"Horticulture plays a significant role in generating the agricultural gross domestic product. I want to be responsible for increasing yield and improving plant products' vigour, size and taste. My studies are primarily focused on fruit trees. I chose to do so because of the trees' longevity. If managed properly, you can harvest crops for years to come."

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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