Meet Kahilu, Mboma’s biggest school rival
• By Michael Uugwanga
IT is hard to imagine that there is a 18-year-old village girl by the name of Christine Fernandu Kahilu that used to beat Olympic silver medalist winner Christine Mboma in some races while still pupils at Korokoko Combined School in Ndiyona constituency, Kavango East region.
Like Mboma, Kahilu was discovered by John Likoro, a teacher at the school who happens to be the same teacher that discovered Mboma, when Mboma used to run in the 800m, 1 500m and 3 000m races.
Kahilu who last ran a competitive race in 2018 in the 100m of which she won the race before claiming second place in the 400m behind Mboma at the school athletics zones at the Rundu Sports Stadium, has been stifled from competing at national championships because she does not have the necessary papers such as a birth certificate and an identification document (ID).
Confidente Sport caught up with Kahilu this week to find out about her voyage.
Kahilu was one of the athletes who on September 4 ran in the 7km Nyangana road running and cycling event, of which she came third even though marathon running is not her favourite heat.
The 7km Nyangana road running and cycling event was won by a 40-year-old runner Benita Kaghuvi, while second place went to 25-year-old Ester Numba Daniel.
Kahilu is from a big family that consists of three elder brothers, one elder sister, three younger brothers and two younger sisters.
“I was born in Andara in Mukwe constituency. Our father is Fernandu Sikwata and mother is Agatha Kakuru. I have been raised by these two unemployed parents at Korokoko village. My athletics career started when I was 12 and my favourite have always been the 100m and 200m heats. Unfortunately, I had to drop out of grade seven in 2018 at Korokoko Combined School due to lack of financial support.
“Christine (Mboma) was my grade 5 classmate and was a good friend of mine at Korokoko Combined School. She ran fast and I knew her athletic tactics in 400m, 800m and 1 500m. At school sometimes I could beat her in the 100m and 200m, and at times she beat me. We were really competing with each other in the sprint,” said Kahilu.
Kahilu currently plays netball for her local team Koko Stars as a centre and wing attack and she is highly talked of by many in her village, even though she loves athletics more than netball.
“Since I am a sprinter I choose athletics because it gives me hope to achieve my goals. I really felt proud to come in third position in the 7Km and did not expect to come in that position because I am not an athlete for long distances. It was even due to lack of training, otherwise I could have come first. I normally run barefoot … I want to see myself one day representing Namibia in athletics.”
Likoro also testified about the school rivalry between Kahilu and Mboma.
“They used to compete against one another since they were in the U-13. We are currently busy working on Kahilu’s national documents so that she goes and competes at Inter-Schools Athletics & Relays in Windhoek from 8 October to October 9,” he said.