Mazibuko confident of Jaguars title defence

netball19 April 2024 14:54| © SuperSport
By:Busisiwe Mokwena
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Nonsikelelo Mazibuko © Gallo Images

Gauteng Jaguars goal shooter, Nonsikelelo Mazibuko says although she is confident that her side can successfully defend their title, getting to the top of the podium will not be an easy task.

The Tshwane side are aiming for a record extending seventh title of the Telkom Netball League(TNL).

The Jaguars have played in every final of the competition since its inception in 2014 and are looking to continue the feat this season as the tournament returns to the Ellis Park Indoor Arena for the first time since the 2018 edition.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Olive Convention Centre, the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria, the Mangaung Indoor Sports Centre, and Polokwane's Ngwako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex are the other venues that have hosted this competition.

The Jaguars will begin their title defence with a clash with newly promoted Limpopo Baobabs when the season begins with a power week which will run from 26 April to 5 May.

The league has had three winners since it was established in 2014, the Free State Crinums were the first to win it and did so back-to-back for three victories between 2014 to 2016 while the Gauteng Fireballs won their only title in the 2022 season.

Mazibuko says the team is determined to return to the top.

“We will be playing the same kind of netball as last year, there is not much that is new except for the new players that have come into the team. There will be new combinations which means we will have to take it one step at a time so that we can see how things will go.

We get along quite well and we are all aiming to get our title to stay where it is. We want to stay as the No 1 team. I know that other teams also want to be No 1, but we have to fight to stay at the top. We have to work hard to stay at the top,” says Mazibuko.

The goal shooter, who previously played for the KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Stars, says her move to the Tshwane side was quite an adjustment.

However, having spent a few more seasons in the north of Gauteng, she says she has grown over the years.

“It was a big change, considering the Jaguars’ reputation as a dominant team. With that in mind, I maintained confidence in the standard of netball I play. I adapted to their brilliant style of play and it actually worked well. I am happy to say the transition contributed to the development of my game and positively influenced how I see myself as a netball player,” she remembers.


“The other provinces can take a valuable lesson from Gauteng Netball, that the teams’ commitments don't end when the Telkom Netball League season concludes. Winning the league requires thorough preparation that spans not just weeks, but months and even years of progress,” she explains.

Mazibuko says her ambition is to become a better player this season, having had a golden year in 2023.

Not only did she win the TNL with the Jaguars but she also won the Spar Senior National Championships with Johannesburg Senior A and was also victorious in the Gauteng Netball Super League with the University of Johannesburg.

In their quest of finding a new coach for the Spar Proteas, Netball South Africa hosted a week long training camp at the University of Stellenbosch early in the year. Mazibuko was one of the players invited to the trials.

“I just want to be a standout team player where all my teammates enjoy sharing the court with me. My aim is to refine my skills in teamwork and elevate my shooting per centage. While wearing the green and gold is a dream for almost every netball player, I remind myself that if it's meant to be, it will happen.

For now, my focus is my personal growth as a player, dedicating myself to hard work, playing some great netball, and enjoying the experience without any pressure,” she says.

She has had an opportunity to don the green and gold before although for a short while.

Her international debut was against Namibia in the Spar Challenge Tri-Nations series in Cape Town in 2021 under coach Dorette Badenhorst.

South Africa made a clean sweep in the competition which included Uganda and Namibia.

Mazibuko says the experience is one for the books.

“Playing for my country was a dream come true. It was a short yet very proud moment of my life, one I'll always treasure,” she says.