Little Gloria Hlalele was not like all the other little girls in Tembisa. When she was six years old, she got tired of the games girls play. She put her dolls in the cupboard. And she left them there.
Gloria played with her brother.
They played with a tennis ball all day long. Gloria loved to kick a bit of ball.
When Gloria was 10 or 11, her love for football grew stronger. She went with the boys to all the big games. She became a Chief’s fan.
After school Gloria didn’t waste any time. She rushed home. She had a lot to do. And she didn’t want to be late for the game in the field down the road.
When Gloria got home, she fed her brothers and did the house work. She was the eldest daughter and her mother needed her help. Gloria knew how her mother struggled. Her husband left her a long time ago and she had three kids to feed.
When she finished all the house work, Gloria ran to meet the boys at the field. The boys liked Gloria. They didn’t think she was strange. She played good football. And she wasn’t scared.
One day a bus driver called Abraham Tsheola walked past the field. He stopped to watch the kids play. Abraham loves children. In his spare time he works with children. He wants to keep them off the streets.
Abraham also know something about football. He was the manager of a football club called the ‘PUBS’. When he saw Gloria play, he gave a long whistle. This kid knew how to kick a ball.
So Gloria joined Abraham’s team. And she got better. She passed a good ball. She was fast. And she knew how to look after herself.
Then Abraham had an argument with some people in his team. He decided to leave. Gloria loved Abraham. She decided to leave with him.
Abraham and Gloria started another team. They called the team ‘Gloria’s Football Club’. Soon many boys joined the club. They all wanted to play with Gloria.
Now Gloria is suddenly famous. Everybody knows about ‘that sixteen years old girl from Tembisa who plays soccer’. Newspapers write stories about her. A magazine put Gloria on its cover last month. And when Learn and Teach visited Gloria, we found two groups of people making a film about her.
Gloria answered all our questions. She was very polite. But she kept looking over her shoulder. She wanted to get back to the game. She doesn’t like all the fuss. She just wants to kick a bit of ball .