Hinda has martial arts under his feet

• By Michael Uugwanga

HAVING only delved into martial arts two and a half years ago, exciting prospect Veja Hinda is taking the sport by storm after winning his first international title last month in Johannesburg.

The 25-year-old defeated South African Nicolaas Vermaak in the final to win the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMF) African Featherweight Championship.

Hinda has been training under the watchful eye of renowned top martial arts trainer Carlos De Sousa.

“I have my roots from Fransfontein in Kunene region and Walvis Bay in the Erongo region. I am a law graduate from UNAM. I started MMA because of the fear of being bullied considering the fact that I am neither the tallest nor the strongest. I have been training under Carlos De Sousa for the past two and a half years.

“I do mixed martial arts, which is a mixture of different fighting disciplines.  I am aiming for the stars. I want to be the greatest of all time,” said Hinda.

Hinda is a nephew to Ambassador Kaire Mbuende and is cousin to chess prodigy Ottilie ‘Oyo’ Yorokee Hinda, regarded as one of Africa’s best chess players at the tender age of 11.

“In the next five years I will probably be a professional athlete fighting for one of the biggest organisations in the world such as UFC. MMA gave me confidence, discipline and peace of mind.

“I am not too sure when I will  be competing again, but I  have my eyes and focus on the World Championship which will either be at the end of the year or beginning of next year,” he said.

Besides being martial arts, Hinda is a lawyer by profession.

His favourite martial arts athlete is Israel Adesanya, a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist (MMA), kickboxer, and former boxer with multiple championships in all three disciplines.

Adesanya is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Middleweight Champion and widely regarded as one of the best strikers in mixed martial arts, something that Hinda also dreams of one day.