GET TO KNOW: LOVISA MULUNGA

Tura Magic Ladies FC and Brave Gladiators Defender Lovisa Mulunga sat down with SRSM for a candid conversation about her life.

All you need to know about the witty Defender:

How did you become a football player?

Yoh, I honestly just saw boys playing with a ball, and I was drawn to it, and that’s how the love began, and the rest is history.

What do you think makes football different from other sports?

Football really unites; it brings people from different ethnic backgrounds and different socio-economic backgrounds together, and through this unity, sisterhood and brotherhood are formed.

What do you love most about football?

I love that I can be my most authentic self, that football brings joy to my heart, and that I can happily do something that I’m passionate about.

What was the most difficult part of your journey to becoming a football player?

The difficult part was being categorized (called all sorts of names like I am an LB or gay because of the sport that I play). It sort of gets to your head, especially if you are not mentally strong, but I am glad I overcame that before I reached the peak of my career.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you about playing football?

Someone once said, “Remember why you started. And I think that statement constantly gives me the motivation to continue playing the game that I so love. Moreso, it sort of tells me in a way that I should not listen to what people tell me but rather focus on what I have to tell myself.

Is there anything you do differently now that you’re an experienced player compared to when you first started?

Not much has really changed; principles are still the same, but I think maybe it’s just that when you grow, you learn to deal with different personalities in a friendlier manner compared to the past, where we just talked to one another in whatever way.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Influence came from so many sides. My mom has been a positive influence because she has never questioned my passion, and all my former coaches were all very influential, so to leave out some people would be an injustice to them.

What do you think is the most important quality for a successful football player?

Discipline goes without saying. A disciplined player is highly likely to make it in a football career compared to one that lacks the fundamental quality.

What do you think sets your team apart from other teams in the league?

What sets us apart is our fighting spirit; we always fight till the very end to make sure we get the result that we want.

Who’s your favorite soccer player, and why?

Abby Wambach, the former soccer player and captain of the US national team, is my favorite footballer; her fearless and strong character drew me to her, and I always saw myself in her when watching her play.

What’s your favorite position to play?

My favorite position would be right back; however, I have grown fond of the central back position.

Who’s your favorite teammate, and why?

My favorite Agnes Kauzuu is one player with an extraordinary personality; she motivates and encourages us to constantly believe in ourselves and reminds us of the abilities that we possess, and that is why I find her to be my favorite teammate both on and off the pitch.

Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

Funny enough, yeah, I do have a ritual. When I am at the training field and I train really well, I make sure the bra I wear that day is the same one I wear during match day, and for some reason it works, and there’s a saying that says, “Why change something that works? So, I’m sticking to that until it proves me otherwise.

Do you have any rivals on other teams that you enjoy playing against?

This season is extremely competitive; all the teams came on here to show their A-games, but one of the few teams that I enjoy playing against is definitely Galz and Goals. The momentum, aggression, and eagerness to win from both teams are immaculate.

How do you stay motivated during long seasons or when the results aren’t going your way?

When things don’t go well, that’s when we try to stay most motivated. We speak to one another and just remind ourselves that this is not the end of it. Let’s push through, learn from the mistakes we have made, and approach the next match with a positive attitude.

How do you stay in shape during the offseason?

Staying in shape during the off-season requires a lot of discipline, and sometimes I lose track, but I mostly try to play in tournaments; if there aren’t any, I go to a complex jog with my neighbors.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests outside of football?

I’m a lover of athletics, and I think that would’ve been something I’d have considered if I wasn’t a footballer. I recently went to watch the NSSU national championships at Independence Stadium, and I was so impressed by the athletes from different regions that I felt like I wanted to join in.

Do you follow any other sports besides soccer? If so, which ones?

I follow athletics, but I’m starting to show some interest in cricket, so I will be on the lookout for some cricket matches.

What accomplishment in your football career are you most proud of?

There are quite a number of great achievements that I would say I’m really proud of, but I think the two main ones are definitely being part of the AFCON team in 2014 and being selected as the player of the season.

How would you like to be remembered as a football player?

I definitely want to be remembered as the player who always strives to make a difference both on and off the field. And not only that, but also to be remembered as someone who contributed to women’s football in Namibia.

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