The Thanda Lions Football Team, or “Amabhubesi” (isiZulu for “The Lions”) is campaigning in the regional amateur league of the South African Football Association. With the support from Thanda Safari owner Dan Olofsson, the team was started by manager Thabani Gumede as a staff team in 2015. Over the years the team has transformed into the leading team for player development within the district, all players originate from the rural UMkhanyakude region, and many of them have attedned schools that are supported by the Star For Life program.
The Lions were coached by Swedish football coach Anna Nyman for ten successful years, with the team winning the league four times and numerous players reaching professional and semi-professional levels both within South Africa and Europe. Today Anna is the general manager of the club, along with her management of the women empowerment program Football For Life.