’MAMMUSO Rannana, assistant head coach at the Plettenberg Bay Tennis Academy in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa is one of Lesotho’s most revered female lawn tennis coaches.
Nov. 5, 2021
4 min read
Formidable tennis tactician, mentor, ’Mammuso Rannana
Top Lesotho female tennis coach, , ’Mammuso Rannana
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Born and bred in Ha Ratjomose, Maseru, Rannana however, gained a lot of acknowledgement both as a tennis player and later as a coach in the neighbouring SA than in her native Lesotho because she spent most of her adult life in that foreign country.
Her adeptness on the court is legendary in the southern African region.
She is the 2015 Botswana Open Senior tournament doubles champion after winning the award alongside Nthabiseng Nqosa.
She went on to win the 2017 edition of the same tournament with Pulane Monyatsi and each walked away P4 000 richer.
While the duo represented Lesotho in the female category, their male counterparts included Neo Makhakhe, Kukutla Motlojoa, Bishop Mosebi and Paseka Motsamai.
Born on November 12, 1990, ’Mammuso Rannana is the daughter of Molahlehi and ’Makananelo Rannana. She is the second born in a family of three, two girls and a boy.
She did her primary education at the Boitelo Primary School in Katlehong, Maseru. Then she proceeded to Matlosane Secondary School in Klerksdorp, North West province in South Africa where she only went as far as Grade 11 before she dropped out of school because of family matters.
Her love for tennis began as a Standard 2 learner at the age of eight. Once she started hitting tennis balls with a ratchet, she never stopped.
But during her high school days, she was an all-rounder who played tennis along with netball and soccer.
“After I realised where my true potential lied, I shifted my full attention to tennis and the rest as they say is history,” she says.
She represented Lesotho at the 2004 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under-16 tournament held in Egypt but was knocked out in the pre-quarterfinal stage. The following year, she won a silver medal at the ITF Under-16 tournament in South Africa.
She is also a qualified tennis coach who holds a Tennis Play and Stay qualification and an ITF Level 1 Coaching certificate obtained in 2016.
She raised the national flag at several international tournaments where she forged a name for herself as a formidable contender.
Before she became a fulltime coach, Rannana joined the Klerksdorp tennis team, then the Mpumalanga team before she moved to Plettenberg Bay.
Between 2018 and 2020, she worked as a coach at the KPM Academy in Mpumalanga before landing the job she currently holds at the Plettenberg Bay Academy.
She has trained under some of the best coaches in Lesotho and she looks up to those men as her role models.
“I was introduced to professional tennis by the former national coach, Sekhobe Moshoeshoe. My other valuable mentors include the Gauteng-based coach, Lebohang Tšasanyane and Mojalefa Mothibe who is currently working at the ITF Africa Centre in Morocco,” she adds.
Rannana regards competing at any international competition as a huge challenge to any player from a poor country.
“There is so much pressure competing against highly experienced foreign players. In a year, I used to compete in a maximum of three tournaments, while my opponents from other countries enjoyed much more international exposure because they were sponsored,” she recalls.
She adds: “As a coach, it is not easy to teach a beginner at a young age. Coaches have to keep young players happy and entertained so that they don't lose interest in the sport.”
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She regards international travel as the highlight of her career as it enables her to see the world, meet new people and learn new cultures.
“My best moments as a coach include seeing my players perform well in tournaments,” she says, adding that it is also gratifying to see happy looks on parents’ faces when their children develop as players.
Her former coach, Mothibe, describes her as one of the best female players from Lesotho.
“She was simply one of the best, she enjoyed working hard at practice, ever so disciplined. I had a great time working with her. Today she is an amazing coach who is doing a great work in South Africa. I am very happy with the way she has turned out,” he proudly says.
Rannana also enjoys reading, especially tennis magazines and watching tennis documentaries to keep up to date with the latest developments in the sport.
“I also enjoy spending quality time with family and friends. I love challenging myself in order to further hone my abilities and coaching skills,” she says.