Reaching his full potential

13 March 2018 | Education

Octavia Tsibes

Emmanuel Anana Samuntu was born in 2001 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He is currently the national record holder in the high jump in Namibia.

He is an athlete that specialises in high jump, long jump and short distance sprinting. He also plays rugby for the Otjiwarongo (Secondary School??) first team and basketball for the Otjozondjupa regional team.

Although he was born in the DRC, he grew up in a small town in the Kunene region called Outjo. “We discovered his gift when he was in grade 8 at Outjo High School,” his sister, Deborah Samuntu, says.

“I became involved in sports eight years ago and I have kept on improving. Currently I am holding the u/17 and u/19 records in high jump and I am the second best high jumper and long jumper in the country. I was selected several times to join the national team,” he says.

His day begins every morning at 05:00 with a 20 minute cardio workout. He has school throughout the morning untill 13:05 and from 15:00-17:00 in the afternoon he has an intensive training session with his coach, Jonas Sonasee.

“It started sports as a hobby eight years ago and later discovered that high jump was my passion and I was a natural athlete,” he says. Emmanuel says that the high jump in a way also helped cure his fear of heights.

As the years passed he also developed a love for long jump, rugby and especially basketball.

Emmanuel adds that his success has been a product of hard work and perseverance. “It is not easy developing the habits that brought me to the stage in my athletic career that I am at now.”

“The downsides of being an athlete is that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It is a hard process and involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears. There are nights were you won’t be able to sleep due to the muscle cramps but you sometimes have to play superman and endure the pain each and every night,” he says.

Samuntu comes from a well-educated family and wants to study engineering after grade 12. “My brother is not academically strong but he is a hard worker, if it is time to study he puts in those extra hours to obtain good grades,” Deborah said.

“It is essential to remain humble during this process because you can easily begin to lose yourself when all the fame begins to cross your path. You should be hardworking and be dedicated to what you do. Avoid the drugs and steroids and get yourself friends that build you up. It is very important to love what you do and develop a passion and positive attitude towards your sports,” says Emmanuel.

“Jumping really high resembles a symbol of hope that you can always soar over all the hurdles life throws at you.”

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