Female footballer Nanamus graduates

By Michael Uugwanga

AFTER years of hard work at university, one of the country’s top female footballers, Lydiana Nanamus became the latest female footballer to graduate with a Bachelor of Science (honours) in applied Chemistry at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) a fortnight ago.
Born in Rehoboth in the Hardap region, the soft spoken 23-year-old is a product of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Galz & Goals sports for development programme that was established in 2009 with the aim of empowering girls to play football and to educate.
She has followed in the footsteps of another Brave Gladiators prodigy in midfielder Annuschka Kordom who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and sports management last year from Corban University in Salem, Oregon, USA, who is continuing with her Master’s Degree.
Nanamus plays as a defender for local club Tura Magic Ladies in the Namibia Women Super League and is also regarded as one of the new batch of youngsters that are preparing to make their mark.
Speaking to Confidente Youth Corner, Nanamus said the qualification will see her fulfilling her dreams of becoming a better person, not only in football but also for life after football.
She is currently busy searching for employment.
“I am very honoured and grateful for this achievement. This means so much to me and to my family. Having received this qualification means I am moving a step closer to being the woman I dream of becoming. I am humbled and grateful to God for blessing me with this achievement. All the hours of hard work have finally paid off. At the moment I am unemployed. I am still searching for a job,” she said.
At one point Nanamus almost quit studying only for her to realise that with education she will be the breadwinner not only for herself but her family as well; and decided to continue studying despite the demands of football that were at hand.
“I had to learn to master the art of prioritising at a very young age and it became easy over time. It all comes down to how bad you want something. There were times when I felt like giving up but I knew how bad I wanted this for myself and my family and that kept me going.
“Firstly, know why it is important to understand why you want to do something be it academically or in football. This ‘why’ will bring you to your end goal. Secondly nothing worth having comes easily, no matter how you feel always show up and work hard. Thirdly, you are the greatest project you will ever get to work on, take your time and create magic,” she said.
Perhaps the two important people that have played a vital role in Nanamus’ success both on and off the field are former Brave Gladiators coach and now acting NFA technical director Jacqueline Shipanga and head of women football Jacky Gertze.
“Thank you is far from how grateful I am. Thank you (Shipanga and Gertze) for always pushing me to be great. Thank you for seeing in me what I could not see. You have added so much value to my life and I am honoured to say that I have such great leaders in my life.”
Nanamus has been living most of her life at the NFA girls’ centre until recently when she completed her tertiary education.
The NFA girls’ centre which was inaugurated in 2016 is situated in Katutura and it is a project by FIFA designed to help young talented female footballers reach their full potential, with age groups from U8 upwards.
The centre is also tailored to give female players the best opportunity to progress technically as footballers and to help them develop socially and psychologically.
The centre which has employed several employees is also home to the majority of Brave Gladiators, junior national teams and other young players playing for various football clubs in the Namibia Super League.