Nanamus has football under her feet

By Michael Uugwanga

AFTER the likes of Emma Naris, Lovisa Mulunga, and Lina Katuta rose to prominence in the Namibia Women Super League, a new batch of youngsters are preparing to make their mark, and Lydiana Nanamus is one of those few female footballers that are already making a big name for themselves.
Not much is said about female footballers in the country, however on the field of play Nanamus is no doubt one of the best defenders that has been impressive for her local club Tura Magic Ladies in the country’s top female football league, the Women Super League, and plays in the heart of the central defence alongside regular seasonal campaigner, Naris who is now one of the longest serving members of the Brave Gladiators.
Nanamus on the other hand still has to convince current Brave Gladiators coach Robert Nauseb for a starting place in the central defence that is currently being occupied by Naris and Mulunga, who had been a regular starter at the right-back position before she was deployed into the central defence at national level, notably in the recent friendly match against Angola last week.
Born in Rehoboth in the Hardap Region, the soft spoken 23-year-old Nanamus is a product of the Namibia Football Association (NFA)’s Galz & Goals sports for development programme that was established in 2009 with the aim of empowering girls to play football.
Nanumus’ unexpected rise, the freshness of her fearless approach and the sheer raw talent on display elevate the level of female football on display.
“I started playing football because I didn’t want to help with house chores on Saturdays but this has been one of the best choices I have ever made. And seeing the fruits of my hard work is so rewarding. Nothing but gratitude comes to mind when I think of my football journey. I played for Galz& Goals Ladies from 2014 to 2017, before I moved to Tura Magic Ladies in 2018,” she said.
Besides being a footballer, Nanumus is a proud holder of an honours degree in the field of chemistry from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
Nanumus has been part of the Brave Gladiators squad since 2018, where she made her debut for the national team at the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Women Championship against Swaziland.
This season she led her club Tura Magic Ladies to the NFA Women Super Cup title.
“Firstly, Mr. Mervin Mbakera was my first coach and he took a leap of faith by believing in me. He has helped me become the player I am. Secondly the support from my mom Salonika Nanamus is the reason I strive to be better.
“Getting a national call up is a great honour on its own and being part of such a great team is even a bigger honour. I am not where I want to be but rubbing shoulders with the very best in the country is a blessing.
“It is always an honour to be coached by a coach who knows and understands the needs of a player. Coach Robert has helped me unlock some of my potential and I am forever grateful for the fact that I got a chance to be coached by him,” said Nanamus.
In addition to admiring fellow player Thomalina Adams, whom she shares the dressing room with at both Tura Magic Ladies and the Brave Gladiators, Nanamus also looks up to USA captain and World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe.
“I love her (Rapinoe) style of play and the fact that she is unapologetic on and off the pitch is a bonus. I love how she stands firm for what she believes in”.