sports

Sept. 14, 2021

TEBOHO JAFETA

5 min read

Top female football coach, Makobo “KB” Kepa

Top female football coach, Makobo “KB” Kepa

Makobo Kepa in Mehalalitoe colours

Story highlights

  • Began playing soccer with boys in her home village
  • She is also a former sports reporter

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MAKOBO Kepa has trekked a long journey as a football player until she finally became one of a few vastly experienced and qualified young female coaches in Lesotho.

Her profound love for managing football was heartened by her Kick4Life Ladies coach, Elizabeth Yelimala who pushed her to try her hand in coaching. She effortlessly fell in love with mentoring footballers and is currently one of a few top women coaches’ instructors the country has. She holds Sports Administration Level 1 and 2 certificates obtained from the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

The talented former midfielder was crowned the 2015 Kick4Life Ladies Player of the Season. In 2016, aged 29, she ventured into coaching and obtained a FIFA Grassroots coaching certificate. Later that year, she attended a coaching course in Yaounde, Cameroon, where she obtained a certificate for New Women Instructors. She also obtained a Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Level 1 Coaching certificate in the same year. Kepa holds a Confederation of African Football (CAF) C Licence obtained from LeFA in 2017. The following year, she acquired Scottish Football Association Level 1 and 2 Licences before obtaining a FIFA Women's Football Coaching Licence.

In 2020, she obtained a FIFA Member Associations Instructors’ Coaching certificate and a CAF Zonal Women Instructors certificate in South Africa. Later that year, she obtained a CAF Zonal Instructors certificate also in South Africa. She had a total of 22 caps with the national team Mehalalitoe and has put on the Rovers Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies armbands for three and four years respectively.

 Born on January 9, 1987, Makobo Kepa is the daughter of Kepa Kepa and ’Malethola Kepa of Ha Rankhelepe in Maseru. She is the last born in the family of two children - a boy and a girl. She did her primary education at Rankhelepe Primary School in 1999 and her high school education at St Catherine’s High School where she obtained her Junior Certificate (JC) in 2002 and her Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) in 2004. In 2012, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from the National University of Lesotho (NUL).

She attended a Media Seminar on Women and Sports in Nairobi, Kenya in 2012. She began playing football at a tender age as a learner at Rankhelepe Primary and was quite passionate about the sport. In those days, she had never seen another female playing football other than herself. She therefore mostly played with young male footballers from her village. But years later when she joined Arsenal Ladies, she met several other talented older lady footballers and she wanted to be just like them. Most of them were in the national team. She started playing professional football at Arsenal Ladies in 2000 until 2002 when she joined Khutsa Ladies in 2003 where she remained until 2005. “Arsenal Ladies had a good and balanced team, which was composed of gifted ladies, so it's difficult to consider certain players as better than others,” she says.

Her international debut with Arsenal was at a tournament in Swaziland in 2000. She moved to South Africa in 2004 and joined Vosloo All Stars in 2005. But she returned to Lesotho later that year to join Maseru Celtic where she remained until 2007. After enrolling at NUL, she joined Rovers Ladies in 2008 until 2014 upon her graduation. She thereafter joined Kick4Life Ladies in 2014 until 2019 when she hung up her soccer boots to focus on coaching.

 She worked as a Sports Reporter for the now defunct Mountain Star Newspaper between 2012 and 2013 then she joined Mosotho Newspaper as Sports Reporter from 2014 to 2015. She swiftly moved through the ranks from being a junior player to captain and she mentored the Kick4Life Ladies Under-15 squad while she still played for the women senior team. Her zeal and amazing prowess helped elevate her to the position of full-time assistant coach of the senior team.

She is the current Kick4Life Ladies second assistant coach where she is working alongside first assistant coach Puseletso Mokhosi and head coach, Yelimala.

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“There are so many people who groomed me, so I cannot single anybody because that will be unfair to others. I was coached by many and I learnt a lot from them so no one was better than the other, because I learnt different things from each of them. Combined, they all turned me into the person I am today,” she says. Her worst moments as a player were failing to win the Lesotho Women's Super League in a number of seasons while keeping an impressive form from the start of the season. “We lost to LDF Ladies, I think three times and each game was the title decider,” she recalls.

Her best moment as a player was when Mehalalitoe defeated Namibia 2-1 in COSAFA Women Championship in 2017 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. As a coach, her best moment was winning the Dare to Dream Championship trophy at the expense of LDF Ladies in June. Kick4Life defeated LDF Ladies 2-1 to claim the title.

Her former teammate at Arsenal and fellow coach, Mokhosi describes her as an extremely talented and hardworking player. “I first met her around 2000 when she joined Arsenal Ladies. I was already there when she arrived. She briefly played for the Arsenal men development team before joining the ladies team under “Driver” and Thabo Seleke. I later played with her in the national team in 2006. “We are now co-assistant coaches at Kick4Life Ladies and we work well together,” Mokhosi says.

Her former teammate at Rovers Ladies, Joalane Tongoane describes her as a calm, friendly and dedicated person who works hard on the pitch. Apart from football, Kepa enjoys reading.

 

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