Nthabiseng Jenni Sibeko

Basketball and netball player

Nthabiseng Jenni Sibeko (18) is competitive by nature, and this is part of the reason why she loves playing basketball and netball so much. “These two sports challenge me to do my best,” she says. “After each game or practice, I feel like I have accomplished something and left the court a better, stronger and more capable player.”

Sibeko is a daughter to a single mother, who showed her that hard work pays off. “She is a true example of a strong and independent woman, and I hope that I can grow to be like her. She has taught me to take full advantage of the opportunities available to me and I have grabbed these opportunities with both hands.” The opportunities to play netball and basketball arose when Sibeko began attending Kingswood College in Grahamstown as a 13-year-old. She started with netball, and before long, her coach — recognising her talent — encouraged her to play basketball too. She has since achieved school honours in basketball and colours in netball.

She is currently Kingswood’s netball first team captain, and also captained the school’s basketball first team this year. Sibeko represented South Africa in basketball in 2015 in the under-16 division and has played for Eastern Province for the last three years. “The number one reason why I love these sports is that they are built around teamwork — no one player is more important than the other, and each one of us has a role to fulfil. The friendships that I have made on the court and on the sidelines are cherished.”

She is also part of various social responsibility initiatives at her school, including teaching less fortunate children and entertaining the elderly in a home. Sibeko’s goal is “to become a proud female judge in the South African Constitutional Court.”

— Fatima Asmal

Instagram: @nthabiseng_sibeko