Mboma not changing surname

Just as the Namibian nation and the rest of the world are enjoying, celebrating and relishing Christine Mboma’s success, rumours about her long-lost biological father wanting the sprint sensation to change her surname have come to fore.

15 October 2021 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

WINDHOEK

Eighteen-year-old Namibian sprint sensation Christine Mboma is a global track star. However, with stardom come chancers who want to either use the teenage sensation’s success for their own benefit or to make claims on her.

Rumours are circulating that Mboma’s father, known to Namibian Sun as Shishana Simion Shamate, wants the athlete to adopt his surname in line with cultural norms and practices.

When asked whether these rumours hold any water, Mboma denied that she knew anything about it.

The humble and polite Mboma said the only father she knows is her uncle. “I can’t and I won’t allow it,” she said.

The Mboma surname is that of her uncle Joseph, whereas her late mother was a Shihako (Patricia). The uncle raised Christina and her two sisters, Frankilde and Juliana.

As reported by this paper in the past, her uncle made sure that she and her sisters were properly looked after, after a period of time when she was taking care of her siblings alone at the tender age of 13.

The Kavango East regional youth sport officer, Erastus Someno, who had a part to play in the athlete’s discovery, said Rundu is a small town and stories will emerge which are not necessarily true.

He explained that he was part of several meetings at which Christine’s biological father was present, but his involvement just went as far as encouraging the athlete to do her best.

“He encouraged the uncle to keep taking care of the girls and that’s how it went. Further than that, I don’t think there was any other meeting,” he said.

Someno also said that the father helped by providing his national documents so that the girls could receive their birth certificates, with Mboma applying for her national identity card as well.

Mboma’s situation is not uncommon in Namibia. In fact, growing up without a father is not a rare occurrence among international athletes either.

Namibia’s superstar athlete Frank Fredericks was raised by a single mother and went on to achieve numerous accolades which brought his family and Namibia prestige.

American basketball star LeBron James was abandoned by his birth father when his mother was pregnant with him. LeBron would grow up to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong's birth father left his mother when he was young. His mother was 17 years old when she gave birth to him. She had to work several jobs to try and give Armstrong a normal childhood. His mother bought him his first bicycle and that would turn out to be the best gift he would ever receive. Armstrong went on to win the Tour De France seven years in a row.

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