The 35-year-old Referee will make history at the 2023 AFCON in Cote ‘D Ivoire when she takes the field for the Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea clash in the tournament.
Akhona is the first certified female soccer referee in South Africa where she has officiated in the Premier Soccer League, the SASOL Women’s League, and the South African Football Association (SAFA). She was also appointed by FIFA on January 9, 2023, to officiate the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.
Born on the 27th of March 1988, her journey began in 2014 when she was enlisted as a FIFA international referee, marking the commencement of a remarkable career that would see her ascend to unprecedented heights.
She has since become a symbol of grace, resilience, and unparalleled skill in the world of football refereeing. What sets Akhona apart is not just her remarkable technical skills, but the undeniable passion she brings to the sport.
Akhona’s officiating prowess extends beyond international arenas, with her authoritative presence felt in the Premier Soccer League, the SAFA Women’s League, and the broader South African Football Association (SAFA). With every whistle blown and every decision made, she has proven herself to be a beacon of integrity and fairness on the pitch.
In a field where women have historically been underrepresented, Akhona has shattered the glass ceiling with each stride across the field.
Her dedication serves as an inspiration to aspiring referees, especially young girls who now dare to dream beyond societal expectations.
As the second woman ever to officiate in the AFCON, Akhona Makalima stands at the forefront of a movement, encouraging diversity and inclusivity in the world of football.