By: Julia Nekwaya

Lydiana Nanamus is a multi-talented individual who has made a name for herself both in the world of sports and academics. Lydiana is a qualified chemist who also excels in football and rugby, representing both national teams.

In addition to her academic and sporting achievements, Lydiana is also a skilled tutor in mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Her passion for coaching has led her to obtain several coaching licenses, ranging from CAF-D to UEFA assistant coaching licenses. With her diverse range of talents and expertise, Lydiana Nanamus is an inspiration to many young girls who aspire to excel in multiple fields.

What inspired you to start playing football and rugby, and how did you get started in both sports?

The start of my football journey was not because I loved the sport; it was actually because I did not want to stay home on Saturdays and do household chores. I started playing in the Galz & Goals league because it was on Fridays and Saturdays. As time went on, I started loving football because I was able to find an escape from reality.

 As for rugby, I joined because my teammates, Ivone and Fiola, asked me to play. I started playing in March 2022 and realized I actually loved the sport and that it was a great way to express myself.

What challenges have you faced as a female athlete in Namibia, and how have you overcome them?

I think inequality, it’s something we are still fighting and a topic we all hope will not be an issue in the next few years. My mom raised me to speak up for what is right to firmly stand for what I believe in that is how I overcome inequality. I am a firm believer in doing what is right and being unapologetic in doing so.

Can you describe your training regimen and how you balance playing two different sports?

My life is so hectic, but I would rather be busy doing what I love than be bored all day. I gym in the mornings, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have rugby practice,  and on Wednesdays and Thursdays I join football practice depending on the weekend schedules of my two teams. I always want to be in my best form because it prevents injuries, and I enjoy playing when I am fit.

 What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far, and why?

I actually have three.

After years of hard work, I finally got to play my first 90 minutes in the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Cup Clash against Zambia, and that feeling is still surreal.

The second one was in June 2022, just 3 months after joining rugby, I got the opportunity to represent our country. I played both matches and also had two of my best games in my debut year.

The third was when I got selected to represent Namibia as a mentee in the TAFISA Female Leaders of Tomorrow program through the Sports Commission. I presented my project on gender inequality on a global platform in Slovenia last June.

Who is Lydiana Nanamus, apart from being an athlete?

I am a certified chemist with an honors degree in applied chemistry obtained from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. In 2019, I opened an online business called Blackbird Namibia. My main aim was to provide quality items (clothing, jewelry, and electronic accessories) at an affordable price. I am also a mathematics, chemistry, and biology tutor. Apart from being a player, I am also a qualified coach with a number of coaching licenses, ranging from CAF-D to UEFA assistant coaching licenses.

How do you see the future of women’s sports in Namibia, and what role do you hope to play in that future?

I think we are moving in a positive direction with more women taking up space in our football leadership positions. I am also a coach, and I am working hard towards being one of the women who will make our football, if not the best, one of the best in the continent. I am definitely sticking around.

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