Taking sports development to the next level
From growing up in the dusty streets of Okuryangava, Titus Mwahafa’s passion for sport and sports development has driven him to create opportunities for the youth.
Mwahafa believes sport has the power to both inspire and empower the youth. Mwahafa holds an accounting degree from the University of Namibia (Unamnam), but his true passion lies in keeping children active and motivated.
“Some of my fondest memories growing up are about all the entrepreneurship activities I pursued as young person. This really opened me up to whole new dimension of life, meeting the who’s who of Namibia and getting mentored by them. I knew there was a world out there and I wanted to be part of that world,” Mwahafa adds.
Another important part of his life is basketball. “It was and is always that safe place I went to when I wanted to be alone and think. It has brought me so much and am still passionate about basketball and sports in general.”
In December 2018, Mwahafa was approached by the regional manager Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to apply for the about an advisory position at GIZ. After a few interviews and discussions, he officially joined GIZ in January 2019.
“My job entails advising our partners on how sport can be used as a tool for development in Namibia. Sport is an essential driver of development in Namibia and also a really safe space for kids,” he says.
Mwahafa is responsible for devising strategies on which themes or areas they can use the power of sport in to address development and use it as a tool to keep children and youngsters safe.
“I’m also responsible for capacity development and training multipliers such as teachers, sport and education officers on how to use sport as tool for development. This is another great and fun part of my job and means I get to travel to the regions.”
Mwahafa is also responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the project to see seeing how the concept is implemented in the country. “We need to see if what we are doing, is doing well and if we are making progress.”
Mwahafa’s passion is working with various implementing partners to roll out projects and initiatives on how sport can be used to address some of the social issues such as gender-based violence and promoting mental health.
He is also a strong advocate for using sport as a tool for development. “This means meeting people and getting publicity around our programmes. I’m also responsible for running the Technical Basketball Academy (TBA), which is a non-profit youth organisation that integrates basketball, academics and entrepreneurship for young people. It has helped many kids here in the capital find a better life for themselves,” Mwahafa adds.
After work, Mwahafa is the Namibia Basketball Federation’s secretary-general G (would you please indicate what this stands for) and is tasked with managing and overseeing the growth of basketball as a sport discipline nationwide.
Mwahafa would like to see sport for development implemented by all academic and sport institutions across Namibia. “It is an excellent way to make sure kids are able to develop themselves into the adults they can be and contribute to society meaningfully. Through the TBA I really want to develop the next class of ethical African leaders to solve some of the continent’s problems. I also hope that the Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF) can be counted among Africa’s best-run federations,” Mwahafa.
Passion for the youth
Mwahafa’s inspiration in life is the youth. “I believe in the boundless power of the youth. Knowing what sport has meant for me, I want others to have that same experience and opportunity.”
He grew up playing sport, specifically athletics, football and basketball. “My experience in basketball and the power of sport gave birth to TBA. The TBA wasI f founded TBA on the belief that young people are the backbone of the productive population s of any country. The youth are is therefore the critical and most important member of global populations as well as significant constituent to global productivity,” he says.
Whether running, playing or simply goofing around, Mwahafa believes kids need to be active and sports is the best way to keep them active. “Doing it through school formats is possibly the only way some kids get exposed. They learn teamwork and learn the different sport codes. Through the Integrated Physical Education and School Sports programme (IPESS), which GIZ runs through supporting the ministry of sports and the ministry of education, this becomes possible, and there are even virtual and online activities taking place.”
Five years from now, Mwahafa hopes to be with the Technical Basketball Academy on a full-time basis where he can play a role in developing leaders for Africa. “Collaborations with other institutions will be the key to this success, and I’m excited about the journey ahead.”