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Mboma, Masilingi receive plots in Rundu

2021-09-27  Staff Reporter

Mboma, Masilingi receive plots in Rundu
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Shoki Kandjimi


The Rundu Town Council on Friday handed over two residential plots to sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi as reward for their exploits on the world athletics circuit.

Handing over the plots located close to the University of Namibia’s Rundu campus, Rundu mayor Gabriel Kanyanga said council resolved to bestow the athletes with 622m2 residential plots each for their record-breaking performances at the Tokyo Olympics and U/20 World Athletics championships held in Kenya last month. 

“I am honoured to handover these residential plots to our Olympians on behalf of the Rundu Town Council and the Rundu residents in general. You have made us proud as a country, and we would like to give you this area to build your homes,” Kanyanga said. 

Mboma and Masilingi both expressed gratitude and thanked the Rundu Town Council for the plots, saying this will allow them to build their houses and have a place to call home. 

Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo also informed the 200m sprinters that soon the Roads Authority will tar the street in front of their plots. 

Earlier Friday, the Olympians received a heroes’ welcome when they returned home for the first time since early this year when they left to participate in Europe. 

The event started with a parade around the Rundu central business district, where thousands of people lined up along the road to get a glimpse of their medals, followed by an official event at the Rundu sports stadium. 

Wakudumo commended the Olympians and coach Henk Botha for their outstanding performances. 

“On behalf of the Kavango East regional leadership and its inhabitants, I would like to congratulate the coach, Henk Botha, for his extraordinary and excellent work that everyone in Namibia cherish and acknowledge. To our Olympians, thank you for putting up brave performances against world-class athletes and for bringing a silver medal and other medals to the land of the brave,” he said. 

The governor further acknowledged and commended sports officers and teachers in the region for playing a pivotal role in grooming Mboma and Masilingi into world athletes. He encouraged them to continue scouting for raw talent in the region, while pledging his office’s assistance in moulding them into world champions. 

Furthermore, sports minister, Agnes Tjongarero used the same platform to acknowledge Erastus Someno, the sports officer in Rundu, for discovering the sprinters, saying he too is a hero. 

Tjongarero also called on other young people in the Kavango East region and beyond to emulate the exceptional work of the sprinters. 

Mboma and Masilingi were delighted with the reception they received and thanked their families, teachers and supporters for playing a role in moulding them into world champions. 

On his part, Botha thanked the Kavango East regional leadership for entrusting him with Mboma and Masilingi and applauded the region for organising the “best” welcoming reception. He further encouraged young athletes to follow the Olympians’ footsteps by sacrificing and working hard to become Namibia’s next gold medallists. 

On Saturday, the celebrations proceeded to Mboma’s home village – Mbwata in the Ndiyona constituency of the Kavango East region – where scores of people, including the Mboma family, welcomed her back. 

Her family collectively expressed their excitement to see her back home in the village where she started running. She was reunited with her two siblings – Frankilde Mboma (15) and Juliana Karungu Likoro (10) – her grandmother and father. 

Currently, Mboma is ranked the top female 200m sprinter globally. She won a silver medal in the women’s 200m race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and gold at the World Athletics U/20 Championships in Kenya. The 18-year-old was further crowned the women’s 200m champion of the Wanda Diamond League in Zurich. 

Masilingi is ranked 10th in the world in the 200m race. She scooped three silver medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at the World Athletics U/20 Championships, and finished sixth overall in the 200m race in Tokyo.

2021-09-27  Staff Reporter

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