Tjivera talks about his netball coaching journey

By Michael Uugwanga

COACHES may be overlooked when it comes to being role models, but they provide the same significance as players, and one good role model is netball coach Manuel ‘Mansie’ Tjivera, arguably the game’s greatest and most recognisable coache who continues to make a name for himself in the women’s game.
Tjivera is the current coach of high flying netball club Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) plying their trade in the MTC Namibia Netball Premier League.
This week, Tjivera sat down with Confidente Sport to share about his journey into netball and the secret behind his good success in the local game and his short stint with the senior netball side, the Desert Jewels.
Tjivera also represented Namibia’s men senior netball side in 1990 when they toured Malawi in an unofficial match.
“I started coaching in 1995 that was my first professional coaching experience with Jan Jonker Afrikaner Senior Secondary School; that was when a school out of Katutura first ever beat Windhoek High School (WHS) in an U-19 curtain raiser match for Namibia vs England… and went on to be crowned league champions in the Namibia schools sports union (NSSU).
“I was also part of the first male team that represented Namibia in 1990 in Malawi at the Africa Men’s Netball Championships.”
There is no doubt, Tjivera remains one if not the country’s most successful netball coach, having won five titles with former club University of Namibia (UNAM) Netball Club in the Khomas Netball League between 2009 and 2018, while holding two positions, as UNAM coach and that of the national team.
He was coach of the Desert Jewels from 2017 to 2019, of which he led them to the Debmarine Pent Series success on home soil.
The Debmarine Pent Series is a regional competition that is competed by countries such as host Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and an invited guest.
Ironically, in his first year as senior national team coach, Namibia was not ranked at the time, so his task by Netball Namibia was to get Namibia in the world ranking, which he managed to do when he took with him a small team of only nine players to Uganda in an Africa Championship in 2017.
“In Namibia you are only regarded a good coach when you win. I regard myself as the best coach in my position. Someone that has never walked the same path as you, they will never see your value and they will devalue you and undermine you,” he said.
Perhaps the NCS is one of the most difficult jobs at hand for him, however his track record at UNAM and at the national team could help him land another title.
“I am a professional and do the things the right way in line with the coaching policy in Namibia Sports. NCS was the first team in the Khomas region to qualify to the MTC Namibia Netball Premier League, which UNAM did not. NCS had a clear vision about the qualification and what they want to achieve and what they need to have in place going into the top league.”
Tjivera is also a well-qualified netball coach. He holds a Netball South Africa Coaching Accreditation Level 1 and Level 2, developer and facilitator qualification, First Aid qualification, certificate in Safeguarding and Protecting Children, Anti-Doping certificate from World Anti-Doping Agency • Certificate in sport for development Instructor, International Netball Federation (INF) & Netball Africa accreditation, INF Umpires Developer certificate, INF & Netball Africa C Grade Umpire certificate, High Performance Coaches certificate, Diploma in Psychology and currently busy with sports management and Netball United Kingdom (UK) coaching certificate.