Uncle proud of rising star, Mboma

By Michael Uugwanga

JOSEPH Mboma who has been Christine Mboma’s guardian since 2016 after the death of the girl’s mother, has said that he was not aware that his niece was doing athletics at school, but is a proud uncle after learning of all her achievements.
Joseph is a cousin to Mboma’s mother and is a guardian to the rising athlete together with her two siblings Frankilde and Juliana.
Mboma (17) is currently the fastest female runner in the world in the 400m after breaking to world record this month, first in Lusaka, Zambia last weekend when she ran the 400m race in a time of 49, 24, before making history again over the past weekend at the National Athletics Championship in Windhoek when she clocked 49, 22; a new world junior record.
Mboma is already making international headlines a few months before the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, of which she will be expected to compete for top honours against some of the world’s top renowned sprinters from the likes of USA, Jamaica, Great Britain, Australia, Bahamas, Canada and other African countries.
Mboma attended her primary education until Grade 8 at Shinyungwe Combined School at Mbwata Village in the Kavango-East region.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Confidente Sport, Joseph revealed that he was surprised that his niece has taken athletics by storm globally.
“To be honest I was not even aware that she is a runner. From Grade 1to 8 she and her late mother and other two sisters of hers, we all stayed in the same house and I never knew that she was running. Since the mother passed away, I stayed with her and her other two sisters who are still staying with me.
“Unless she started running when she went to grade 9 in 2019 as she went to stay with her coach (Henk Botha).
Joseph also said that the first time he heard that his niece had broken a world record was on NBC Wato FM (Rukavango) and read about it in the newspapers.
Today, Joseph said that he is so proud of Mboma’s achievement in athletics.
“I feel so proud of her that she is doing so well in athletics. I did not follow athletics but I think now that she is running and that she is making big headlines, yes, definitely I will become a big fan of athletics,” he said.
Mboma on the other hand said that she grew up idolising Johanna Benson after Benson became the first Namibian athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games; and is grateful for her coach.
“When I was young I used to keep Johanna (Benson) posters in my room. My coach (Henk Botha) is not just my coach but he is like a father to me as I could have not broken records without him,” she said.
Benson won a gold medal in the women’s 200m T37 at the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London.