Karate giant of Namibia

One of the highly respected karateka in the country, Freddy Mwiya, shares with us his passion for the game.

17 July 2017 | Sports

Namibia Sports Commission chief Freddy Mwiya is not an ordinary administrator.

As a young boy, Mwiya who grew up and played in the dusty streets of Katima Mulilo never dreamt that one day he would become an accomplished karateka.

He also never imagined that his family would turn out to be ardent followers of the sport.

The Mwiya family is unique in that the father and three children eat, sleep, and talk karate.

His children have won karate titles. “All my three children, two girls and one boy are black belts and members of the national karate team.

“They are currently champions in Namibia in their respective divisions and also won at the recent Region Five Games.

“They also participated in the Commonwealth Games in 2009 and won medals because of their hard work,” he said.

But Mwiya himself has blazed an unparalleled trail in karate and he owns five black belts and is working towards a six dan (rank). Mwiya has represented Namibia at many African and world championships.

He has won gold medals at international level too. Mwiya won gold medals at the world karate championships in 1995 and 1996 and he held the lead title in the national championships from 1996 until retirement in 2007.

Mwiya's passion for karate started at the tender age of eight and he says the passion was stirred by movies such as Jean-Claude Van Damme an American actor.

He started punching and hitting everything he saw in front of him. Today, he says he has been practicing and honing his skills for the last 36 years and will continue to do so for years to come.

He underwent gruelling training sessions under the scrutiny of Joseph Sambi in the early 80s, and did further training with Gert Husselman and Kaiso Johan Roux. His passion for sports, prompted him to plant his sports seeds at the NSC where he is the sports administrator.

“My vision is to bring transformation through commercialisation of sports.

“But apart from that, I am a family man, and I serve in my church,” he said.

Not only does he occupy the administration seat where he helps sports clubs and athletes to achieve their dreams, but Mwiya uses the position to learn everything there is to know about sports discipline.

Mwiya has a degree in education, post-graduate diploma in leadership, certificate in leadership and a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Relevant to his administration position, Mwiya said he would like to study sports management. “I need a certificate in sports management so that I learn as much as possible.”

The karateka maintains that learning does not end, is not age specific and will always remain useful regardless of how old one is. “Knowledge is power.

“Every day we acquire new knowledge and it contributes to the body of knowledge one has. I advise my colleagues in sport to have passion for the beautiful games they represent.

“Be honest with your job and do well for others so that they can respect you,” Mwiya said.

“During my free time, I used to give karate classes.

“My children have taken over and they coach at their club.” Mwiya acknowledged the level of development for young in karateka in Namibia describing it as “impressive.”

“As a new olympic sport code, the sport has grown and many are taking interest.

“However, clubs need corporate funding in order to execute various tasks,” he said.

Limba Mupetami

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