Unstoppable “Bytjie”, the new darling of SA netball …Proteas almost poached her

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-Whilst her male counterparts are struggling to make the grade in Africa’s richest football league, the South Africa Professional Soccer League (PSL) – Namibian netballer Jaumbuavi Zauana, has hit the ground running in the popular South African semi-professional Brutal Fruit Netball Premiership broadcast live on television.

Known as “Bytjie” amongst her admirers and teammates, the lanky former Black Africa goal shooter (GS) appears to have found a new lease of life and is making waves with her new club Western Kings.

The Katutura born girl hit the ground running and was deservedly voted best player of the match in her team’s victory over Crinums from the Free Sates.

The league also voted for her, as a member of the team of the week, in the star studded Brutal Fruit Premiership – in week four and again in week seven.

This is certainly no mean feat for the basket rattler, who currently boasts an impressive scoring ratio of 84 percent.

Her impressive performance week in and week out did not escape the eyes of the South African national selectors, who selected her for the Proteas, only to reverse the decision because of her nationality.

“What actually transpired is, I was playing for the university side and they subsequently selected me for the Western Province Invitational teams.

“I was eventually selected for the Proteas but the selectors were not aware that I was a Namibian citizen.

“Since I was born after Independence, I don’t qualify for South African citizenship because I’ve not lived here long enough to be considered,” Bytjie said in an exclusive interview with New Era Sports from the Mother City, yesterday.

Born in Windhoek in 1993, Bytjie (23) started rattling hoops at the tender age of ten while still a pupil at the Theo Katjimune Primary School in Katutura.

However, it was not until she enrolled at the prestigious Windhoek High School (WHS) that her netball career started to flourish.

A second year student at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, the Namibian netball sensation represented her native land in the 2012 Youth World Youth Games in Scotland, United Kingdom.

She was also a valuable squad member of the TISAN netball team at the World Student Games in Miami, United States of America, last year.

After securing a lucrative bursary to further her academic aspirations at the respected University of the Western Cape, Bytjie follows in the footsteps of her compatriots Toetsie Tjihero (formerly Kambatuku) (UK) and Tashya Kalomoh (Jamaica) by playing in a top league outside the country.

The latter is the daughter of cat-footed former Black Africa and National Senior Netball Team centre, Annie Mosiane-Kalomoh.

Annie represented Namibia with distinction at two World Cup finals in New Zealand and England in 1991 and 1995, respectively.

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