My name is Mutinta Simubbaku also known as Michelo, I am 30 years old. I come from a family of 6 ( 2 Female and 4 Male ) and I am the 4th born. My dad died 15 years ago and this made me and my other siblings not to finish our Education as our mother would not manage to pay school fees for all of us. This made me stop school in grade 11 and started joining nearby teams to play football and I subsequently joined a community team called the Zambia Football team. I have always had a passion to become a referee, and I have been trying to officiate friendly games in my village Sipatunyana.
Though I did not have all the information and lacked certain skills regarding officiating football. It has been a hassle as some men and women thought it was against the cultural norms for a woman to officiate men’s games in the rural areas. Response Network organized a 3-day workshop for referees, where it turned out I was the only female participant out of 40 total participants. It was in that training where I realized that women can also be engaged in officiation of games, as before I would officiate though I didn’t have the confidence.
This training has boosted my passion and zeal for refereeing. Since the training, I have officiated 4 games and I have been getting feedback from teams that my skill has increased, and as a result of this, teams are always calling me to officiate their games. This has made me have more courage and confidence in what am doing. As a result of my persistence in officiating friendly games in my area Response Network has donated a full referee jersey which will be helping me when officiating games.