May 24, 2024

AFCON: Meet the Woman Referee That Will Officiate Nigeria’s First Match

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By Sportsgister

The Nigerian Super Eagles will start their campaign at this year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with an opener against their counterparts from Equatorial Guinea. That match will be officiated by a South African Female Referee, 35-year-old Akhoma Zennith Makalima.


Makailima is making history by becoming the second female referee in the history of the AFCON to officiate a match.



The referee was born on the 27th of March 1988, and she became a FIFA international referee in 2014. She is a certified human resource management personnel with a diploma from King Hintsa FET College.


Makailima, who is South Africa’s first female soccer referee to be so certified. She has to her records, officiating Premier Soccer League, the SASOL Women’s League, and the South African Football Association (SAFA). On January 9, 2023, she was appointed by the world football governing body, FIFA to officiate the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.


The South African has been adjudged as a very technical referee with a good sense of judgement.


Makailima believes she has what it takes to be outstanding in a male dominated field. She said; “I see myself as a brand ambassador empowering women in sport – that’s my five-year plan. I will work very hard and never bend or give up on anything.”



“I worked hard to be here, and I didn’t want to get here by being just a quota or to fill up numbers – I want equality because I am equal in strength, ability, and desire. You have to invest in yourself to say that you are able to take up that kind of space,” she said.

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