Residents of Salt River in Cape Town, where Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis grew up, are jubilant. Many have fond memories of a young girl that only wanted to play soccer.
Salt River in Cape Town, the residents of the street where Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, grew up are jubilant. Many have fond memories of a young girl that only wanted to play soccer.
It is in this street in the shadow of Table Mountain, where Desiree Ellis spent many days playing soccer. Residents of Greeff street remember the family fondly as Ellis stayed here with her grandmother after school. Back then, there were no women’s clubs, but Ellis would not be held back by such a minor detail.
Shaheem Sauls, who is a resident at Greeff street says, ” We saw Des growing up in this street, plying her trade, out playing the boys you know. This was the pitch here where it all happened. This is the starting point for her. Maybe the street must be renamed Des Ellis Street, but as I say, fond memories.”
The street was the pitch and those who played with her say no stoep or window stood a chance against their lively games.
Another Greeff street resident, Yusuf Salie adds that “We all had a ball of a time on this road. As I can say between that pole there and this pole here that was the soccer poles (laughs) and this was the pitch. Cars standing this side and that side oh my gosh, these people here, especially her grandfather, we couldn’t play here. She had to hide herself behind the cars if she played with us (laughs) she was a very talented girl.”
A small group of people gathered together to re-watch the game inside the home of Sharky Solomons, who is also a resident of Greef street.
“What she came through and what she achieved, I mean, there’s nothing to explain to what she achieved,” says Solomons when talking about Desiree.
“I feel proud of her for what she did here. I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe she’s not going to make it but she did, there are no words I can say about her. She just made us proud that’s the main thing,” says Zain Adams from Greeff Street.
Video| Banyana Banyana crowned champions of Africa at the WAFCON 2022:
Parliament congratulates Banyana Banyana
Parliament has congratulated the Senior Women’s National Team Banyana Banyana for winning the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Parliament says by lifting the cup, the team’s coach Desiree Ellis and her charges have once again shone the light on the potential of women in sports on the international stage.
Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says, “We salute our senior women’s soccer team for lifting the South African flag high, enhancing our nation-building programme, inspiring the nation’s hopes and aspirations as well as improving social cohesion. The Banyana Banyana victory, which catapulted the nation into the dizzy heights of continental football and World Cup qualifications, serves as a necessary upliftment amidst the current economic challenges and social hardships.”
Ellis not only made her country proud but also old friends and neighbours in this little corner of the Mother City.
It takes a team💚💛🇿🇦
Technical Team 👩🏻🏫👨🏽🏫
Medical Team 🩺
Media Team 🎙
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) July 24, 2022