top of page

For the love of tennis

When Jane ‘Skapie’ Muso was 23 years old, she fell in love – twice. First, she fell in love with tennis. And then she fell in love with her coach. She married him two years later.

Today Jane Muso is 56 years old and a grandmother. But she hasn’t for­gotten anything. Just a few months ago, she beat a 19 year old champion.

And Jane still has her own style. When she hits a backhand, she still lifts her back leg -and throws her bum to the sky. But that’s how old ‘Skapie’ plays. And she’s too old to change.

Jane was born at the old location in Krugersdorp. “They call it something else now,” says Jane. “Whites live there today. We planted the seeds ­and they took over.”

Jane always liked sport. She started with golf. But she found golf too slow. Then she played basketball. But she got tired of the other girls ­they were always jolling and never did their best. So Jane tried tennis. She liked tennis. She didn’t try any­thing else.

Jane started late. But she caught up quickly. She won her first big title a couple of years later. She won the same title three years in a row. Nobody had ever done that before!

“When I won the title for the third time, they called me to their offices,” says Jane. “They told me they were stopping the title -because they were tired of me winning all the time.”

For the next 20 years or so, Jane hardly ever lost a game.

So Jane knows a bit about tennis. She has her own ideas. And she is not scared to talk about them. She talks straight ­just like she hits a ball. She says things like: “If I played on Sundays, I always told my husband not to touch me from Thursday. I don’t like mixing sex with tennis.”

And: “In the beginning I played mostly with a man by the name of Johannes Kohl. I’ll never forget that old bastard. He has a football club now. He always beat me – because I didn’t know the rules!”

Jane has another big love. She loves children. She doesn’t know how many children she really has. She has her own children – and dozens of children she has taken off the street.

“Some of my children still remember me,” says Jane. “Other children have forgotten about me. But as long as they can stand on their own two feet, I’m happy.”

Jane has fed many kids in her time. And it was never easy. She never made much money from tennis. She worked as a domestic worker for a long time. And when she got divorced, times were really hard.

Tennis didn’t make Jane rich. But tennis has given her other things. She has seen the world. She has done to places like Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. And tennis has does her · another big favour: she is still fit, firm and fresh. “I’m only a size 35. Most women my age are three times fatter than me,” says Jane with a twinkle in her eye.

That’s it! It’s time to leave old ‘Skapie’. By the way, if you ever go to Kagiso, pay her a visit. She’s nice and she’ll give you a laugh for sure. But don’t go on Sunday. She’s playing tennis!.


If you would like to print or save this article as a PDF, press ctrl + p on your keyboard (cmd + p on mac).

bottom of page