Ntonga vies for Central Region presidency

HARARE - “What men can do, women can do even better,” goes the adage which aspiring Central Region Soccer League president Musa Ntonga is reading from.

Ntonga, a Zimbabwe Prisons Correctional Services (ZPCS) regional procurement officer for Midlands and Masvingo provinces who made history last year by becoming the first female chairperson of a Premiership club at the relegated Whawha, wants to score another first by becoming the first female to lead a regional football league which for years has been male dominated.

The 40-year-old is the only female candidate for the March 6 elections which also has long time administrator Stanley Chapeta and former league boss Patrick Hokonya contesting.

For years female football administrators have concentrated in the women’s section of the game but Ntonga believes they have what it takes to administer football in general and enter the domain thought to be the preserve for men.

Ntonga believes her feminine touch gives her an edge over her male rivals.

“As women, we are emotionally attached to what we do. When we start a thing we want to see it through to perfection,” Ntonga told the Daily News.

“Even in Shona they have a saying musha mukadzi meaning without the touch of a woman, no home will be successful.”

The Whawha supremo believes that it was high time women debunk the notion that they cannot do what men can do by leading football yet at work and at home they hold key roles.

As Ntonga prepares to take the bull by its horns, she has urged women to ignore stereotypes and stigmatisation that is thrown at them.

“This is an area which people generally thought only men can enter but

I am a football person and an administrator. So I fear not since I have been subjected to stereotyping and stigmatisation because there are still some men that still do not believe that women can lead,” she added.

“They think our place is confined to the kitchen. But for me, I want to bring that sparkling feminine touch to the Central Region, bringing in long lasting professionalism.

“To achieve that I have already lined up sponsorship which even when I don’t make it, I will still second it to the person who wins.”

Ntonga looks set to emulate Burundi Football Association’ president Lydia Nsereka if elected president on her way to the top.

Nsereka became the first female member of Fifa’s executive committee in the governing body’s 109-year history two years ago in May.

“I want to make sure the league is very competitive and that teams from the region don’t just get promoted into the Premiership to add numbers and get relegated.

“Clubs are facing financial problems and the sponsorship will cushion them and I will have monthly awards for players, coaches and referees so that the league is very competitive and exciting,” she said.

“Our region is multi-lingual and I am fluent in all the languages spoken be it Shona, Ndebele, Venda, Kalanga and I have been to the ground getting to personal level with all the clubs getting to know what really affects them and the remedies to make our league very attractive.”

The Central Region Soccer League has over the years been dogged by expulsion or withdrawal of teams after failing to pay affiliation fees which are pegged around $3 000.

The teams from the region like Whawha, Hardbody and Tripple B have all been demoted after just a season in the Premiership.

All the aspiring candidates have all pledged to bring sound sponsorship on board so that clubs are cushioned from the financial constraints.

But for Ntonga it is the touch of the person at the helm which brings stability and competitiveness to the league and she reckons she is the right candidate.

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