Athletes Celebrate Their Best At The Dome Swakopmund

by Sheefeni Nikodemus, The Namibian


Rising golfer Likius Nande was just as surprised as anyone when he won the 2018 Namibia Sports Awards ahead of two favourites at The Dome in Swakopmund on Saturday.

The judges promised surprises, and so it came to pass when the 21 year-old Mondesa native beat 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalists Helalia Johannes and Jonas Junias Jonas to the MTC Namibia Sports Star of the year prize.

Johannes won the sportswoman award, with Jonas beating Nande to the men's equivalent moments earlier.

“It's so unexpected. I feel good about it. It's just hard work that paid off,” a beaming Nande told The Namibian Sport at the post ceremony reception.

“I don't know how they [awards] work. But, I did have a great year. I got seven out of eight nationals this year. I became the first Namibian to win the Africa jacket [Windhoek Lager Africa Championships] as well. I also broke two course records, so I had a wonderful year. I don't know how I'm gonna improve,” said the youngster who aspires to emulate American great Tiger Woods.

Motivated by his unexpected victory, Nande is keen to build on his stellar 2018 and is angling towards the professional version of the game.

In 2017 he won eight out of 10 local tournaments and this year has won all five that he has competed in.

“Next year, I'm hoping to play more in South Africa because I'm preparing myself for the professional level. Either, I'll have to relocate to South Africa or go up and down,”

While he may not be the most popular winner of the top prize, Nande was outstanding in his own right. He beat the top amateur golfers from 11 southern African countries, while he also became the first Namibian golfer to win the prestigious Africa Championships title in June.

Born and bred in Swakopmund, Nande has been a model of consistency since starting to play golf at age of 10 under the mentorship of golf coach Eddie Hangula. His rapid progress has already led him to become the country's top golfer.

“It just means a lot to me. I mean, being from Mondesa and to win this in my hometown is just an amazing feeling. Jonas [Junias Jonas] won it three years ago. We grew up together, so it's now two of us for the town. We come from the same suburb, same community. It's a big achievement for this town,” Nande said. 

Serial winner Ananias Shikongo picked up the NamPower sportsman with disability prize, with Lahja Ishitile, Sylvia Shivolo and Johanna Benson sharing the women's award. The latter trio only received ceremonial certificates and no prize money as the adjudicators felt their results over the period under review were not outstanding.

Meanwhile, the newly introduced Erongo Red People's Choice Personality of the year award, voted for by the public, went to archer Quin Reddig.

Also rewarded for their efforts were: 

MTC Namibia junior sportsman of the year - Lance Potgieter;

MTC Namibia junior sportswoman of the year award went to Carane van Zyl;

NamPower junior sportsman of the year with a disability - Alfredo Bernardo;

NamPower junior sportswoman of the year with a disability - Beata Hausiku; 

Tafel Lager team of the year award - Namibia senior men's rugby; 

Namdia coach of the year - Tobias Nashilongo; 

Referee/umpire of the year - Patrick Esterhuizen; 

The Namibian sports journalist of the year - Limba Mupetami from The Namibian Sun; 

Standard Bank development programme of the year - Kids On Bikes; 

Namibia Sports Commission excellence award - Albertus Thaniseb 

Lifetime achievement awards - Rusten Mogane, Isak Kahatjipara, Leonard Martin, Callie Schaefer and Hannes von Holtz.