A slice of “Slice” Ntozakhe
Raisibe ‘Slice’ Ntozakhe is 22 years old and living her cricket dream. A true success story of the Central Gauteng Lions pipeline, she hails from Alexandra in Johannesburg - one of the main development hubs of the organisation. She was attracted to cricket because of its uniqueness. “Girls weren’t interested in cricket when I was in grade 3,” she says “…but I loved the sport from the moment I tried it.”
“Slice” is a nickname she picked up playing provincial cricket. She was 10 years old when she first played for the U13 and U16 girls’ teams, and therefore always the smallest in the team. She was only 14 years old when she started playing for the senior women’s provincial team.
When Ntozakhe received her national call up last year, she thought it was a prank.
“I was never in a camp, academy or anything like that, when I got that call I thought it was a joke! When the confirmation came in, that was it, the dream was finally coming true.”
Sport means a great deal to Raisibe. “I was a sports fanatic at a very young age, when I was younger I preferred playing more than one sport. It’s a nice distraction from…the troubles of life.”
A Sports Management student at Health and Fitness Professionals; Ntozakhe also coaches young girls cricket at Queens High School.
“The best thing about being in sports is...you get to be on TV,” she laughs. “You get to have fans and followers, but above that you turn out to be an inspiration for other people, you can be a motivator for them, and you tend to be more responsible and disciplined about everything you do.”
When asked what she would like to be remembered for in cricket, her answer was simple:
“As the world’s best-off spinner.”
And life in general?
“A motivator, an inspiration and…and a parent,” she smiles.
Her Central Gauteng Lions coach, Johnson Mafa, commented: “She’s a hard worker and she’s been performing very well. She took her opportunity and ran with it, we are extremely proud of her.”
Ntozakhe is included in the Momentum Proteas Women squad touring the West Indies in September and October this year.
True to the ethos of the national team, young ‘Slice’ is #AlwaysRising.