Otjiwarongo-When we think of boxing we usually think of the greats, like the late Muhammad Ali, like Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard and recently Floyd Mayweather, to mention only a few, but no women’s names immediately come to mind.
However, somewhere deep in the northern regions of Namibia, there’s a very passionate and upcoming female boxing coach making her mark in a quite unique and inspiring way. She is 28-year old Saima Amesho, a vibrant young lady who hails from the northern town of Oshakati, the regional capital town of the vast Oshana Region.
As the only notable female boxing mentor in northern Namibia, if not the whole country, Amesho’s story can be described as art imitating life in a truly inspirational way.
Born and bred in another small northern town, Oshikuku in Omusati Region – which was just a village until it was granted town status in 2011 – Amesho fell in love with boxing at an early age and all sport-related activities, but she admits her biggest love has always been boxing.
Although she never haboured any intentions of becoming a fully-fledged boxer one day – perhaps due to misplaced perceptions of people seeing everything wrong with a girl sporting boxing gloves – one sure thing is that Amesho always knew she wanted to be part of that sweaty smell and noisy dotting sound of boxing glows in the gym, grooming and nurturing new talent.
That’s where her passion lay – in coaching. As she clearly puts it: “There were people who encouraged me to become a fulltime boxer and hopefully become the first, if not one of a few female boxers in the country, but that’s not where my love for boxing was.
“I was more interested in becoming a coach, passing on knowledge and nurturing new talent. That’s why I came to Oshakati, to gain more knowledge about boxing and to better understand the kind of input a coach has to put in grooming a raw boxer and then watch him move on to become a world champion from absolutely nothing.”
It was only in 2014 that Amesho became part of a well organised boxing setup after she joined the Kilimanjaro Boxing Club at Oshakati, owned by well-known northern boxing guru Joseph Benhard.
There she was made assistant coach to head gaffer Jason Immanuel after Benhard saw her potential and passion for the sport, especially her patience and drive to work with raw young fighters, eager to hit the big stage.
Having stolen the hearts of many in that part of the country and with many young fighters inspired by this soft-spoken young lady, the leadership of Oshana regional boxing structures recently chose Amesho to be one of the head coaches to spearhead the regional team that participated in last weekend’s MTC Sunshine Regional Cup at Otjiwarongo.
At Otjiwarongo last weekend Amesho and her colleagues managed to drive the Oshana boxing team to great heights when they finished 2nd overall behind champions Khomas Region – clear evidence that her input and perseverance is slowly paying off and that for her the sky is the limit.
“I recently graduated to amateur structures, so I’m now also coaching amateur boxers. That’s why I’m heading the Oshana regional team. As always, I want to work hard and ensure our region produces more boxers for the country and at club level. Our mission is very clear: to produce great champions who will also become great citizens. For now, all I want is to do great things for Namibian boxing,” the highly determined Amesho concluded.