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Personality of the week - Ndawana Haitembu

2022-09-22  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Ndawana Haitembu


Which race would you describe as your most memorable?

I would say my most memorable race was at last year’s U/20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, where we scooped a silver medal in the 4x100m. 


And which would be your toughest race to date?

I believe it is that same 4x100m race. 


You won your first major honour in that race (U/20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi). How big of a moment was that for you? 

Despite it being a nerve-wracking race, it was honestly surreal and beyond joyful for me and my teammates. I will forever remain proud and grateful.


Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

My late father, Daniel Haitembu. He remains my hero and biggest inspiration. 


What would you say has been your biggest career disappointment so far?

It has to be the hamstring injury I experienced at the beginning of the season. It was a huge setback for me. 


Who are your favourite local and international athletes? 

Locally, it is definitely our very own Christine Mboma, and internationally, it is Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.


If not athletics, which other sport would you have chosen?

I think I would have probably chosen netball.


You are currently studying towards a bachelor’s in sport management, what inspired you to pursue that field of study?

I think my passion for sports in general, and not only athletics, inspired me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sport management. 



Your late father, the great Daniel Haitembu who remains one of Namibia’s athletics legends and trendsetters, was an internationally-renowned top 400m runner. How has his rich legacy inspired you? 

My father is my “why” and my hero. He is the reason why I am doing what I do every day. His rich legacy has inspired me to make him proud and see to it that I continue to give my best at all times.


Being the daughter of the legendary Daniel Haitembu, does that perhaps put you under any pressure to try and outperform your father’s legacy? 

No, not at all. I strongly believe that my journey might not necessarily be the same as his. But what matters most is that whatever God’s plans are for me, I should be able to build my own legacy which will simultaneously continue and uplift that of my father as well. 


You are one of the few athletes that have had the opportunity to train with Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma. How would you describe their presence and influence on the track?

They are both very influential athletes. Christine and Beatrice have both been such big inspirations for me on and off the track. They are the epitome of hard work that paid off.


You compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, which one do you enjoy the most and why?

It is definitely the 100m event because the pressure of competing in it is far less than compared to the 200m and 4x100m races.



What is your take on the current state of athletics in the country, are you happy with the pace at which the sport is growing, or perhaps, should more be done? 

I think the growth of the sport locally is quite moderate at the moment, but with more investment and support for athletes, I believe Namibia will become unstoppable in the very near future.


From where you stand, where do you see Namibian athletics in five years?

I strongly believe that a lot of positive changes will happen, especially the country’s footprint at international events. We will likely see an increase in participation at all levels. Namibian athletics will flourish with more representation and podium finishes from several athletes.


What are some of your ambitions for 2022 and beyond?

I am looking forward to working harder in order to represent Namibia at various major international competitions and to also reap the fruits of my labour off the tracks (academically). 

2022-09-22  Staff Reporter

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