Nominees for COSAFA Women’s Player of the Year Award

The nominees for the category of the Women’s Player of the Year at the inaugural 2023 COSAFA Awards have been unveiled.

The winner will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Durban on April 19, with a panel of judges from across the region having assessed their achievements for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2023.

The three nominees are as follows (in alphabetical order). Their clubs are as per 2023:


Barbra Banda (Shanghai Shengli & Zambia) – Banda has recently moved to Orlando Pride in the USA, reward for excellent form for club and country. She scored two goals in a famous win for Zambia over Germany prior to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the biggest victory in their history. She also scored as Zambia beat Costa Rica 3-1 to record a first ever World Cup finals win.

Tabitha Chawinga (Inter Milan/Paris St Germain & Malawi) – A prolific scorer in Europe, she managed 25 goals in Italy and France in 2023 and won the Golden Boot in the Women’s Serie A with Inter Milan in the 2022/23 season. She has since gone on loan to PSG and continues to bang in the goals. Not to be confused with her sister Temwa Chawinga, who was top scorer with Malawi at the COSAFA Women’s Championship.

Racheal Kundananji (Madrid FC & Zambia) – Recently became the most expensive female player in history when she moved from Madrid FC to Bay FC in the USA for $800,000. That was on the back of 28 goals for Madrid FC in 2023 and a further eight for Zambia, including in their win over Costa Rica at the World Cup.


The judging panel from across the 14 member nations that make up COSAFA are renowned for their knowledge of Southern African football and are as follows:

Houssamidine Ben Ahmed (Comoros), Ivan Capuepue (Angola), Rob Delport (South Africa), Gerard Govinden (Seychelles), Peter Kanjere (Malawi), Jesse Kauraisa (Namibia), Kagiso Kgaogano (Botswana), Sibusiso Masilela (Eswatini), Sandra Mwila (Zambia), Boitelo Radebe (Lesotho), Heriniaina Samson (Madagascar), Benoit Thomas (Mauritius), Steve Vickers (Zimbabwe) and Raimundo Zandamela (Mozambique).