…has spent over N$300 000 for Mwiya Junior to persevere
By john Tuerijama
LIKE the old saying goes, an apple does not fall far away from the tree, Freddy Mwiya Junior, who recently amassed four gold medals at the United of America (USA) Open Karate Championship, has benefited immensely from the vast wealth of experience from his father Freddy Mwiya, who is also a fundi in the same field.
The USA Open championships was sanctioned by the World Karate Federation (WKF) which is the only body acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Having been invited to join the Botswana national karate team that competed at the USA karate championships, Mwiya Junior dazzled his opponents with his manoeuvring masterly art in the open division of 65kg, junior international championships and in the 16 and 17-years old karate division.
The 16-year-old Mwiya Junior, impressed many with his talent and skill after bringing home the glittering gold medals which saw the whole Mwiya clan coming down to Windhoek from Rundu in the Kavango East region to celebrate the young lad’s victory.
Taking us through the challenges, glories and importance of parenting while rallying behind one’s off-spring’s dreams, Mwiya who is also the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator, said children are a gift to parents.
“Parents must supplement their children with their presence and always be there during their children’s sporting events especially in schools sport events when children are in junior and secondary schools.
“We need to encourage our children in the areas we see them doling well. They need our moral and financial support if they have to excel and become eventual sport ambassadors.
“It is important that we are there for our children from Grade 1 to 12 which is very important, and for parents who are financially well off, it is imperative that they invest in their children,” Mwiya told Confidente recently.
He said parents should do away with the tendency of expecting Government to pay for their children’s expenses and he instead called on parents to get more involved.
“It is worth investing in one’s children’s sports development since parents have the basic responsibility towards their children and not Government.”
He, however, expressed disappointment at parents from the previously disadvantaged communities for the lack of support in sports for their children.
The lanky sport administrator noted that their white compatriots are tremendously involve in their children’s sporting activities, and do travel whenever they are selected for national teams.
He said that there are parents, who accompany their children to events such as Region 5 and the All Africa Games, but parents of colour are rarely seen at such events.
Mwiya said the victory by his son was not a Mwiya victory but was a victory for the entire Mwiya extended family.
“That victory is definitely an upliftment of the clan’s surname. And as a family we support one another as a unit.”
The former undefeated national karate champion for over a decade, retired after his son told him to do so in 2007, after having won a bronze medal during a karate international championships in Cape Town South Africa. Mwiya Junior, started his karate career at a tender age of three-years and eight months and has been following in his father footsteps since then.
He is the youngest brother to Lisa Mwiya who is a black belt second degree national champion and Lilly Mwiya who is a first black belt degree national champion.
Mwiya Junior won his first-ever gold medal in 2007 in Cape Town when he was barely six-years-old.
“He is the one that made me retire after I won a bronze medal, his words were ‘daddy you have to retire’ after I have been the undefeated Namibian national kumite champion. He is a specialist of all and I am thankful he has an external coach,” chuckled Mwiya.
After many years of being a mentor and trainer to his son, Mwiya said that he has contracted a Botswanan karate coach Bakwedi ‘Shakes’ Ofentse Oshima who is the African champion for the last five years, to externally mentor and coach Mwiya Junior.
He said the idea was to make sure that his son competed internationally to score the necessary points that will ensure his qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan.
Both Mwiya Junior and sister Lilly will in May this year travel to Gaborone, Botswana for a training camp in preparation of the upcoming Region 5 Games to be hosted by Botswana.
The NSC chief administrator said he expects to spent close to N$18 000 for their training camp in Botswana next month before the Region 5 Games. “My objective is to see him compete in international competitions, and should he qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games that for me will be a bonus but my main focus is the 2024 Olympic Games,” he said.
Now that the Namibia Karate Union (NKU) is a fully paid up member of the international body, Mwiya Junior and his compatriots were expected to compete in all international karate competitions.
He said looking at the 2018 calendar, Mwiya Junior is expected to compete in the Croatia Youth Games which he has to fund and also the young inspirational karate champion will compete in the Junior All Africa Games scheduled for July in Algeria. Mwiya Junior and his sister Lilly will in August compete in the Union African Karate Federation championships billed for Luanda, Angola at which their father is expected to dig deeper into his pocket to ensure their participation.
Mwiya said that Mwiya Junior has now proved himself to most what he is capable of, and thus called on the corporate sector to come on board and personally sponsor the young karate sensation.
“The corporate sector can have their names on Mwiya’s karate gear which in turn will give them mileage when Mwiya Junior takes part in international karate events.”
The Jan Mohr Grade 11 pupil, has only been given one condition to ensure the progression of his father’s support, and that is to do very well in school work.
“I am happy that his coach Oshima has expressed confidence that is why his mother Gertrude Mwiya threw a party for him and friends from school to celebrate the four gold medals he won in the United States.”
The young karate force is expected to bring home gold medals from the Region 5 Games in Gaborone.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015