All hail the netball queen Uahongora

• By Micheal UUwanga

THERE are moments that define players’ careers for a lifetime and no matter what has gone before or what comes after, one single goal, tackle, putt or shot will forever be associated with their name.

Sometimes, these sporting moments are not positive ones, instead, they are painful reminders of what could have been.

However, in the case of Mighty Gunners Netball Club player Ehrenfriede ‘Gola’ Uahongora, her moment is an exceptional one – and one that positively impacted the sport she adores to the moon and back.

Gola as she prefers to be called helped her Otjiwarongo-based team Mighty Gunners win the 2022 MTC/Namibia Netball Premier League (NNPL) which ended this month.

She this week sat down with Confidente Sports Journalist, Michael Uugwanga to talk about life as a netball player and her ambition to play for the Desert Jewelz (National women senior netball team).

At 37, one might thing she is supposedly to be a retired player, focusing on coaching, however this is not the case as she has no intention of retiring from the game.

“I started playing netball at the tender age of nine at Bulskop Primary School (today known as K J Kapeua Combined School in Okandjira, Ovitoto in the Otjozondjupa Region. I decided to play netball because it is in my family’s DNA. My grandmother as well as my mother all played Netball, so I believe I was born a netball player.

“Back in our days, we did not have much excess to watch or to know about other players, but I believe every Netball player has inspired me.

Think of it there was a lady called Operi Tjitemisa, now late at our village team, who was an outstanding player whom I liked,”Gola said.

Gola joined the champions in 2016 after she relocated to Otjiwarongo due to work commitment, but before that she played for Black Africa Netball Club in Windhoek.

“I joined Mighty Gunners NC in 2016, before I was playing for Black Africa Netball Club, the reason why I joined Mighty Gunners Netball Club (NC) is because I relocated to Otjiwarongo with work and Mighty Gunners NC are one of the best teams in the region (Otjozondjupa) so  I thought why not,” she said.

Last year Mighty Gunners lost the MTC/NNPL on the last day to Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) Netball Club, which was too much of a pill for them to stomach.

With the 2022 season done and dusted, the 2023 season is expected to be another tough season, with second placed team on the log, Navy Netball Club and third placed side, NCS together with Might Gunners among the favourite to win the title.

“It was not as if my team was defeated but it was on a goal-difference between NCS and us.

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This year the team made sure that we had a plan to win the title.
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Next year we will remain humble and focus,” she said.

Last season and this season, Gola was one of the best Goal-Shooters in the league, but never made it into the Desert Jewelz’s World Cup qualifiers which were held in South Africa in August this year.

“Why am I not in the Desert Jewelz, you tell me. I am 110 percent good enough to give my contribution to the national team regardless of my age.

Other African team, I believe also have players of similar age as me. I was called up for trials but when the final squad was announced, I was told by the coaches that they do not need me anymore.

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