The Namibia Amateur Boxing Association has denied any allegations of nepotism surrounding their selection of the four boxers who will represent Namibia at the upcoming African Boxing Championship qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal in September.
The affected boxer is Mirjam Nghilongwa, a female boxer who performed well during the National Boxing Championship in Swakopmund held in March this year, before she went to compete in the Gaborone Grand Prix.
In Botswana, she ended up fighting against a Namibian female boxer, Ndapandula Ngesheya, due to a lack of opponents, where she (Nghilongwa) emerged victorious in that match.
The winner in Botswana was meant to go and represent Namibia in Senegal for the African Boxing Championship qualifiers.
Nghilongwa now believes she is the one that should be on the plane to Senegal to represent Namibia.
She believes she was wrongly omitted from the team, amid speculations that this might be due to nepotism or favouritism.
Nghilongwa recounted the sequence of events, stating, “This year, we had a national championship where participants from all regions gathered. The event took place in Swakopmund, and I emerged as the winner in my weight category. Shortly thereafter, we were informed that we would be participating in the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone.”
“To my surprise, on the day of our departure to Botswana with the girls’ team, there was a girl who had been defeated at the championship. The competition began, and I faced off against Ndapandula Ngesheya, ultimately securing a victory. However, unknown to me, my coach attended a coaches’ workshop where he was informed that I had suffered a loss in Botswana. The girl who allegedly defeated me (Ngesheya) is now heading to Senegal alongside three boys for the Olympic qualifications because she emerged as the victor,” Mirjam revealed.
Responding to these allegations, Petrus Kashango the Secretary-General of Namibia Amature Wrestling and Boxing Federation who is accompanying the team to Senegal asserted that the team selection was conducted fairly. “We chose the team based on merit. Regarding Mariam, the issue lies in her failure to provide all the required documents requested by the African Boxing Federation. These documents include a declaration of non-pregnancy, a boxer’s medical certificate, and others. Despite recognizing her as a top boxer and champion in her weight category, her failure to submit these documents became the determining factor. The same applies to Ngesheya, who is also a champion in her weight category. Ultimately, it boiled down to the submission of these documents,” he explained.
However, Mirjam managed to provide New Era Sport with proof that she did actual send the required documents to the boxing federation, a situation which raises eyebrows as to who is fooling who.
On confrontation with this evidence, Kashango changed his tune and said Nghilongwa (and others) submitted their documents after the due date had passed hence their omission from the team.