Mboma, Masilingi ignite Kavango East sport fever

The two Olympic sprinters have united Namibians like never before, especially in their home region of Kavango East.

04 August 2021 | Sports

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

Issues such as tribalism, politics and corruption have taken a backseat in Kavango East as people unite in support of Olympic athletes Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, who hail from the region.

In fact, regional sport officer Erastus Someno says a number of young people are now knocking on his door wanting to take up athletics as a career.

“We are very happy for what the girls have done. The feeling in the region is the same as that felt by the general public; we are very happy,” Someno said.

“Almost every day I am receiving calls from people saying that they are athletes and how can they be assisted.”

He added that the names of the potential athletes have been recorded and the region will look at how they can assist them.

Someno pointed out that one of the biggest challenges at the moment is the region’s affiliation to Athletics Namibia.

He explained that the region was de-affiliated some three years ago and needs to restore its affiliation to enable local athletes to take part in national events.

Inspirational

Bronner Henk, a former teacher of Masilingi’s at Noorgrens Combined School in Rundu, says what the two athletes have done is magnificent.

Henk says they have achieved a lot in a short time.

“I really think they are magnificent. I think the population might not understand everything yet. If you look at the progression of an athlete, Usain Bolt said he won his first major medal after four years of preparation.

“They are doing so well in just a year and a bit. Yes, there is a lot of room for improvement but thus far I have not seen anyone who did so well in world athletics in such a short time,” he said.

Another resident, Frans Moyo, says Mboma and Masilingi’s achievements have united the nation.

“It’s a great feeling. We are proud to see how the country is reacting. At this moment everyone is speaking one language,” Moyo said.

“It’s a sign of unity for me. It looks like we have forgotten about politics for now; we have forgotten about corruption and tribalism; we have put that aside. It’s giving us a boost and I wish the girls the best of luck.”

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