The recent athletic exploits of Christine Mboma, Beatrice Masilingi and the Paralympians prove the “I can do it” spirit of the Namibian youth.
However, more investment in youth and sport is needed for the youth to continue making the country proud.
Mboma recently brought home a silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics, and gold and silver from the World U/20 Championships, where Masilingi won three silver medals.
Paralympians Ananias Shikongo and Johannes Nambala won silver and bronze, respectively at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Rundu-based rapper M-Gee, who recently dedicated a song to Mboma and Masilingi, said he is proud of them all but bemoaned the fact that youth activities and sports are neglected in Namibia.
He appreciates the fact that some unemployed graduates are now doing business, but stressed that if sport is treated on the same level of importance as education, then no one will be home.
“Thank you for the performance of the athletes as it caught the attention of the leaders. Look at Mboma’s performance – no one really cared about the region or tribe she is from; it was about being a Namibian. I wonder what will happen to the unity and peace in our country when the government ranks sports as crucial. Certainly more unity, talent and potential.”
M-Gee urged the sports ministry to pull up its socks and “refresh the game”.
Nakwezi Mukokobi from Katima Mulilo has always been playing netball but has not seen progress in the sport at all.
“This is what I like the most, but I still just play for fun. I hope the recent performances will really shake the leaders’ minds. Give us a platform, we want to make the Namibian people proud too,” she pleaded.
Simpson Paulus, vice chairman of Omusati women’s football and coach of Young Brave Women’s Football Club, said Namibia lacks grassroots development when it comes to sports. “The government should invest more in sports but also change its sports policies. Masilingi and Mboma are doing well and should be encouraged among the youth. I always tell the girls in my club to set a good example and take women’s football seriously,” he said.