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The life and times of academic genius: Ndeulipula Hamutumwa

2023-11-17  Carlos Kambaekwa

The life and times of academic genius: Ndeulipula Hamutumwa

Growing up in the dusty street of Wanaheda location, a sub-section of Namibia’s largest residential area, Katutura, the calculated boy started his primary education at the Wanaheda Primary School the following year.

Like very few lucky offspring of well-to-do parents, Ndeuli was fittingly shipped across town to the upmarket St. Paul’s College, in the posh Klein Windhoek suburb, to further his academic aspirations. Tellingly, it was during his time at St. Paul’s that he got introduced to football, athletics, and basketball in that sequence.

As a result of the influence derived from the hip-hop and R&B culture of the 90s, Ndeuli started to develop a religious interest in the activities of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

It was from this time that he started playing competitive basketball, rattling the hoops at will, before turning his hand to coaching, subsequently changing gears to become an umpire and sports administrator.

The next stop was the University of Namibia (UNAM), where he played organised basketball at both the varsity and national league levels. However, the sport-crazy boy prematurely hung up his basketball sneakers to take up sports leadership at a national level in 2001.

“My childhood memories stem from the many days spent playing basketball at the UN Plaza in Soweto. Without a shadow of a doubt, the sport saved some of us from drug dealers and the evils of society that were tempting young people daily at the time,” recalls Ndeuli with a twinkle in his eyes.

Despite his involvement in various sporting activities, the boy-face bookish brother still managed to find time to juggle between sports and books. He is the proud holder of multiple mouth-watering academic qualifications including:

University of Johannesburg Doctorate of Commerce (Sport Management)

Thesis: ‘Sport Stakeholder Framework for Delivering on the National Development Strategy and Plans of Namibia’.

University of Poitier, France Executive Masters in Organisational Sport Management Thesis ‘A Case for Namibia’s Athlete Support System as the Precursor for the Attainment of an Olympic Medal’.

University of South Africa Masters in Business Leadership Thesis: ‘A Diamond in a Rough: Can the Benefits Derived from the Namibian Diamonds be Maximised’.

University of Namibia Bachelor in Accounting, Sports Leadership, and Community Service Founder

Chairman of the Ndeulipula Hamutumwa Sports Foundation: Provides financial and material support for educational and sports needs for young students. Additionally, the foundation also provides mentorship and capacity-building for the youth. He served as Deputy Secretary.

General, Treasurer, and Executive Board Member between 2004 and 2016, and was the designated Chef de Mission to a number of multidisciplinary games (2010: Singapore Youth Olympic Games and 2012: London Olympic Games).


Namibia Sport Commission

He served as a Sports Commissioner and Chairperson of the 2014 National Sports Conference, as well as Chairperson of the Drafting Committee for the National Sports Plan.

He served as the President of the National Basketball Federation from 2003–2004 and 2010–2011 (special assignment from the Namibia Sports Commission to restore and restructure basketball in all the regions).

Major professional achievements in the Sports Development and Diplomacy Sector:

He was duly appointed for Multi-Sport for four years as Chef de Mission for the 2008 Potchefstroom AUSC Region 5 Youth Games, the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, the 2011 Maputo All Africa Multi-Sports Games, and the 2012 London Olympic Games by the Namibian Government through the portfolio ministry.

Ndeuli was appointed Chairperson of the National Steering Committee responsible for organising Namibia’s first Sport Conference in 2014.

Among other key performance areas, his role entailed leading the committee that comprised senior government officials, NGOs, local and international sports bodies, foreign government agencies, civil society organisations, private organisations, and the media.

Furthermore, he was tasked with raising funds and did so successfully from both the government and the private sector, as well as managing international and local stakeholders, coordinating the international guest speaker, and reporting to the government regularly.

Owing to the effective implementation of the Sport Conference in 2014, Ndeuli was subsequently appointed Chairperson of the National Sports Plan drafting committee, whose primary role was to draft the National Sports Plan, develop its financial resource plan, monitor, and draw up an evaluation framework.

As a result of this project and through his leadership, the committee identified key strategic initiatives to be implemented at the sports country level, such as the development of the first-ever national categorisation plan for sports sport codes, the National Reward Policy for athletes and coaches, the Sports International branding strategy, and the national sports expo, amongst others.

In 2018, Ndeuli was appointed by Special Olympics International in Washington to facilitate the business process of re-engineering Special Olympics Namibia together with Special Olympics Africa. At the Special Olympics, Namibia experienced a lack of leadership when the board was dismissed.

“My role was to normalise the institution by registering it as a company within the legal provisions of Namibia, recruit and recommend for the appointment of a new board, and assist with the re-admission of Special Olympics Namibia to Special Olympics International. Upon successful completion of the task, Special Olympics Namibia was able to participate in the Abu Dhabi World Summer Games.

Along with Prof. Cora Burnett, he was hired as a research consultant by the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture, the Ministry of Sport, Youth, and National Services, and GIZ in 2020 to create an integrated policy on physical and school sports, a cost-effective plan for putting it into action, and a framework for monitoring and evaluating it for Namibia.

This policy emerged as part of the Kazan Action Plan in line with the requirement for member states to promote and develop physical education. The International Consultancy Establishment of the New Special Olympics Namibia (SON) Board provides consultancy services on governance and strategic planning for SON.

In his professional career, Ndeuli serves as the Executive Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at Naras Investment (Pty) Ltd. and its subsidiaries. The company has diverse investments in marine, food processing, cold storage facilities, property, finance and hospitality sectors.

He has 19 years of experience in strategic corporate leadership, governance, finance, business management, stakeholder management, and corporate leadership capabilities.

He worked in different sectors, including public service, the diamond sector, unlisted asset management (private equity), fishing and marine resources, and infrastructure development. 

He is the proud holder of multiple degrees in accounting, a Master’s degree in business leadership, an Executive Master’s in organisational sport management, and a Doctorate of Commerce (sport management), certainly no mean feat.

Ndeuli serves on the board of Namdeb Holding (Pty) Ltd. and is the board chairperson of Debmarine Namibia (Pty) Ltd. He also serves on the board of the Namibia Student Financial Assistant Fund (NSFAF) and serves as chairperson of the HR and Finance Board Committee. 

Additionally, he is an astute author, an avid reader, and a sports enthusiast.

Among his board membership of various institutions, Ndeuli serves as a member of Naras Investment Pty (Ltd), whose interests are fishing, and NamScore Sports Consultancy (Pty) Ltd, a sports enterprise.

He also sits on the board of the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), where he is part of the Sub-Committee of Finance and Administration.

NSFAF provides financial assistance to students on behalf of the government.

He represents the Namibian Government as Director of Mining at Namdeb Group Holdings Pty Ltd., the holding company for both subsidiaries, Namdeb (land diamond operation) and Debmarine Namibia (sea diamond operation).

He is also board chairman of Debmarine Namibia (Pty) Ltd.

Ndeuli holds the greatest admiration for the following mentors of remarkable pedigree in the sporting industry whom he claims to have played an influential role in sharpening his leadership qualities: Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, Elliot ‘Oom Paul’ Hiskia, Eliphas Aupapa Shipanga, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, Charles Nyambe, Ambrosius Kandjii, Johan Knoetze, Piet Du Plooy, Elize Petersen, and departed veteran athletic mentor Quinton Steele-Botes. 

He singles out the Debmarine sponsorship of Namibian football among the highlights of his well-decorated sporting career.

“It was heart-warming to witness the resumption of football activities in Namibia. The smile on the faces of the nation is overwhelming. It is pleasing to see how the game of football has united the nation through the sporting gesture of Debmarine,” concludes the bookish, ardent reader and author, who never falls short of watching sports events on television whenever time permits.

2023-11-17  Carlos Kambaekwa

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