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Personality of the week - Ben Sett Ndazowike Shikongo

2021-07-08  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Ben Sett Ndazowike Shikongo
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Date of Birth: 8 May 2000 Place of Birth: Ongombesa Village

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right hand bat

Bowling style: Right arm medium fast

Previous Club: Mr 24/7 Welwitschias Cricket Club

Current Club: CCD Tigers


Favourite local or international cricket club? Blue Waters Cricket Club


Biggest career achievements? I would say the biggest achievements of my career was making it into the national U/19 team at just age 16, and going on to play for the senior national team at the age of 18. I am still playing for the senior side. 


Talk to us about your journey as a cricketer? My journey as a cricketer has been quite amazing – one filled with great successes and experiences, and some challenges too. All the wins, disappointments and failures, so far, in my career have taught me to be greater and better when faced with challenges.


Which tournament would you say was your toughest? It has to be the 2019 ICC Global T20 Qualifiers we played in the United Araba Emirates (UAE).


Biggest career disappointment? It was also the 2019 ICC Global T20 Qualifiers in the UAE. I performed very poorly in one of our crucial games and I was not so happy with the outcome.

Who is the biggest influence on your career? It is my father; he always supports every decision and anything I do. 

If not cricket, which other sport would you have played? It would have been football. I enjoy playing football a lot.

Do you think attitude is a big factor in winning? Attitude is definitely the biggest factor in winning – and as athletes, sometimes we are faced with lots of challenges but bringing a positive attitude to the field really changes everything. Also remember, a bad attitude from one individual player can affect the whole squad.


Besides playing cricket, what are your other hobbies? I enjoy football, as I said earlier, but I also love dancing, listening to music and socialising with family and friends.


What is your training schedule like; do you practice every day? Currently, my training schedule is a bit relaxed, as we are now following Covid-19 regulations and avoiding being outdoors too much. But before the pandemic, I would train almost every day of the week, playing cricket as well as doing strength and conditioning, including playing games over the weekend.


Who inspired you to become a cricketer? Coach Justus Hangula, one of Namibia’s top youth coaches. 


What are some of your strengths as an athlete and as a person in general? I am a very disciplined, humble and caring person. I am always willing to help others, and always looking forward to the positive things that life has to offer.


From your own experience, what do you think should be done to get more black people to play cricket as a priority sport? We should try and give every child an opportunity to play cricket by taking the game to them, and not just keeping all activities in central areas. But I think Cricket Namibia has been doing a great job in popularising the game and reaching out to all areas through training camps, coaching clinics and so forth. But more can still be done, I believe. We can do more through Kwata cricket, where children just enjoy and learn the basics of the game. Let’s take the sport to rural areas; there are some talented children there who cannot afford to come to urban areas where the sport is mostly played.


What are your thoughts on the current state of cricket in Namibia? Cricket, in Namibia, is currently at its best. There is cricket being played all over the country now – and more children are slowly but surely falling in love with the game in almost every town. Thanks to Cricket Namibia, more children are being given a fair opportunity to enjoy the game.


Getting to where you are today, especially being one of the few cricketers of colour, what are some of the challenges you had to overcome? Well, I had to deal with a lot of challenges, such as being always chosen as a non-travelling player for tours to South Africa for four straight years, and sometimes walking 5km to training and playing grounds on game days. I had also had to deal with pressure from some family members and friends, telling me playing cricket is a waste of time; they would rather see me play football, but I had to convince my parents that I want to play cricket and not football. 


Comparing experiences, what does Namibia need to do for cricket to catch up with the rest of the world? Get more facilities out to rural areas so that people can have access to better training and play cricket in a much improved environment. We should also make available more platforms where cricket education can be shared with teachers, parents and community members. Once people have a better understanding of cricket, parents and community members will encourage and support their children when they want to take up cricket. 


Your plans for 2021 and beyond? To continue improving as a player and playing cricket again at an international level, including at the T20 World Cup in UAE and all other major competitions in the future.

2021-07-08  Staff Reporter

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