Hi there! My name is Dineo, and I’m 16-years-old, but everyone ekasi knows me as “the girl who plays soccer with the boys after school”. Yes, I’m the only girl in the all-boy soccer team at our village. People always ask me what it’s like to be competing in sports with boys and I always tell them; “Well, girls can do many of the things that boys can do if they are just given a chance.”
Our team practices five days a week, so I spend most of my free time with the boys. While we talk a lot about our favourite soccer teams and players, I don’t really share anything else with them. The only one I’m kind of close to is Tshepo. He’s my neighbour and our mothers are good friends. However, there are things about me that even he doesn’t know. You know, girl stuff that he wouldn’t understand.
One day, we were practicing for a match against a rival team. I was so focused on preparing for the match that I forgot to check my calendar to see when my period was coming, and I started menstruating during practice. Tshepo saw blood on my shorts and whispered in my ear, “Dineo, you are bleeding”. I was horrified, and I ran to the changing rooms. But I didn’t have a change of clothes or a pad – I was trapped. Thankfully, my female classmate Rudzani came into the changing room with a packet of pads and a pair of soccer shorts.Tshepo had sent her with the things for me.
When I finally got the courage to return to the field, I was sure Tshepo and the rest of the boys were going to make fun of me. But to my surprise, all they asked was, “Are you ready to play again?” Suddenly, I realized that there was nothing to tease me about because periods are normal! So, I smiled and said, “I’m ready to win Bafana!” I never got embarrassed by my period again, and neither should you.
Do you have a funny period story? Share it and let’s laugh together in the comments below!