The gentleman netball coach

A male coach from Walvis Bay is proving that netball is not a sport only reserved for women.

15 April 2019 | People

Bobsey Musambani; Coach; “ . . . the first important trait is to be disciplined . . .”

Walvis Bay • Adolf Kaure



Bobsey Kanku Musambani whose coaching has transformed netball at the coast since his introduction to the sport, was born in Omaruru on 26 March 1974.

Musambani, also a full-time barber, started his school career at Goas R.C. Don Bosco and finished in Walvis Bay at Kuisebmond Secondary School.

Coach Kanku, as he is fondly referred to, grew up on a farm called Okanona, 25 km from Omaruru. He moved to Walvis Bay in 1988 and has lived in the coastal town ever since.

Musambani shared how he became involved with netball.

“As a youngster I was never involved in the game. It was just football nonstop. However, everything turned upside down in 2001 with a team I was coaching and who I managed to take back to the Namibian Premier League. I felt I was treated very unfairly and decided to rather stay away.

“I joined netball in 2006 just as a fitness coach and attended netball courses to improve my knowledge of the game. I am a qualified coach today, still aiming for the highest level of accreditation,” said Musambani, whose favourite netball player is Australian centre, Kim Ravaillion.



Inspiration

His love for the sport and a wish to keep girls off the streets inspired Musambani to become a netball coach, while his inspiration comes from players he has coached from school level until they reached senior national level. His perseverance has ensured that he has achieved much success in his career.

“I was honoured to coach NDF Buffalo when we beat the Botswana national team in Gaborone in 2015. I was also the coach of the U/17 national team when we took gold in Gaborone in 2016. I won many trophies and leagues with Eleven Arrows and Buffalo.

“We took silver with the Erongo regional team in Katima Mulilo at the Namibian Newspaper Cup in 2018. I also won various super league cups with De Duine High School in the Erongo school league.”

The five words Musambani uses to describe himself are hardworking, caring, loving, honest and loyal. While he is not on the court, his hobbies include playing and watching soccer, listening to old school music and coaching.

However, Kanku says nothing comes easy.

“You need to work hard, have discipline and mostly a big heart. Crying mamas' babies can just forget about making it. Never be a latecomer at training or games. People said bad stuff and made up stories about me. Some even said I was gay because I am a man coaching netball. They can talk, as long as they don't do anything to you physically. I've learned to overcome challenges by ignoring all negativity.”



In future

In the next five years, coach Kanku sees himself at the helm and as the head coach of the senior Namibian national netball team.

“My goals this year are to win the Namibian Newspaper Cup with the Erongo regional team and to do well in the respective leagues with Eleven Arrows and De Duine. I want it to be a good year for all the players who train with me in general.”

According to Kanku, there is room for improvement in Namibian netball and much still needs to be done to promote the sport in the country.

“Namibian netball is not at its best because there is too much corruption and favouritism in the sport. We need to work together, select the best players and play international friendlies to gain more experience in order to improve.

“Communities, schools and the government must invest more in netball for the future of Namibian netball. All schools should take part in school leagues and government must build netball facilities at schools that don't have any.”

His definition of a good netball player is one with discipline on and off the field and who respects other players and coaches.

“The values which I instilled in players over the years have shaped my success. The first important trait of a netball player is to be disciplined because without it you will not make it far in life. Also make it a habit to be punctual at all times.”

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