An exclusive interview with Messah Eero Natangwe Kambala:Volleyball player

Name : Messah Eero Natangwe Kambala,

Date of Birth: 10 June 1993.

Sport Code : Volleyball player,

Position: outside attacker

Club : Khomas NAMPOL

A lot of volleyball people regard you as a versatile player, how would you describe yourself?

I have heard that am currently widely regarded as one of the best passers and attacker in the country. For me I think of myself as “complex warrior” but another part of me I consider myself as vulnerable and wounded because of my upbringing and that’s why I do what I love most,”sport.”

I started playing volleyball at the age of 8 at Dynamite Volleyball Club back in 2001, the beautiful coppertown of Tsumeb, this was during my primary education and throughout my secondary education. My family have always provided me with a support system from the start. Infact 2023 is a significant year for me as it marks exactly 23 years since I started playing volleyball. Like with most youngsters, I was inspired by my primary school teacher Mr. Johannes Amukwiyu. I completed my high school in 2011 at Etosha secondary school, and joined the Namibia Police as a police officer by profession.

You keep talking about volleyball as a career, are there specific individuals who shaped your understanding?

There have been people who really shaped my path, especially Eliasel Kambala as a parent and Mwita Sikopo, Josef Amakali and Weshitile Nekoto. These indivuals have contributed with their expertise and guidance I have been able to make a name for myself in the volleyball community. What sparked my interest in volleyball it’s my faith, hence it has been the biggest game changer/factor in my career and I really believe that God has equipped me with opportunities and abilities to continue playing and learning in this sport.

Is there a specific person that you have looked up to for inspiration?

My inspirational mentor is Bonifatius Iiyambo, he taught me that sport has the power to change a community, country & the world. He always used to remind me of the good impact that sport can do to my life and if you have to introduce sport to the community you could also be fighting crime as you’ll keep people away from the streets and from making bad decision. That’s why I would love to see the youth more involve in sporting, and our government should support sporting initiatives across the country.

When it comes to my support system am blessed to have Mrs Fredrika Katshuna who is always there alongside during my games for motivation and mental preparations on and off the court and my workout partner. On the other side have special advisors the likes of Ms Ndapewa Veijo and Mr Inga Amutenya.

It is said that when you get criticized, it builds your character, have you experienced such challenges?

I have not really faced challenges in my career apart from criticism that I get, but I have always responded to them positively and they have made me a better player that I am today, “they say if you’re never criticized, you’ll never grow”. Currently I have evolved to a stage that the young upcoming volleyball players want to play like me in other words I have become their role model and inspiration.

I have learned some key lessons, positive ones that bad attitude can kill your sport, always have a listening ear for a change and never be arrogant or stubborn if you want to be a better player. Am motivated when there is competition between teams and a big turnout of spectators at games either league or tournament.

My low point in life was when I lost my brother in 2019 but I managed to overcome it as volleyball & individual workout helped me maintain my mental and emotional well-being at times, I take long runs just to clear my head, sport has been a cure to me in any situation I am going through. Setbacks and failures I take them as a lesson and i always believe that all that is meant for me will never fade away or rather it’s still coming.

As a person responsible for ensuring safety and security of our country, how are you able to balance between being a police officer and a sports person?

When it comes to balancing between my personal life and my career there isn’t a specific strategy all I do is I prioritize the most important. My office recognizes that as an athlete I need to have time to train and to go take part in games, and am grateful to my seniors for always providing me with time off. I always make sure that am full time at work when there is no sport, on the other hand when am off from work and games, I always prefer to go to the farm with my Uncle Eliasel Kambala to help out or fresh air.

When it comes to training, I prefer to have an intense training on Monday and Wednesday, then on Tuesday and Thursday, medium training session that involve strategizing on game approaches and mind training.

What would you regard as your high moment in your sporting career?

My proudest moments in my career, was when I received a callup from the Namibian Police offering me an opportunity to play for them at SARPCO games at the age of 19, this culminated in me being recruited into the force, as they saw potential in my ability and capability.

The most memorable highs of my career were the comeback against Katima UNAM on a tiebreak when they only needed one point to win the match and we were five points behind and we ended up winning that match 16-14 what makes it special we made an impossible comeback.

Since starting playing the games, what kind of competitions have you participated in your career?


I have participated in both local and international completions and have won 53 gold medals, 23 silver medals and 10 bronze medals. This include being the winners of the Far Northern league 2012, National League in 2013 and 2014, Central Volleyball League in 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022 & 2023, the DOC tournament in 2013, 204, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, The Namibia Volleyball Federation Cup in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2022.

I have also been runner ups in the Central Volleyball League in 2015,2018 and 2019, DOC tournament in 2021and the Namibia Volleyball Federation in 2016

At the Regional and Continental competition, I have participated in the following: Under 17 COSSASA Ball games, World Championship qualifier, Zone VI Beach Volleyball tour, SARPCO games and Zone VI Club championship

How has been a sports passion translated to your work, especially during tough times?

During my tough times am always passionate with my work because you can’t throw away your bread when you’re hungry, just because you have a toothache. I would like to advice those aspiring athletes and coaches who are starting their journey, “my advice to you is that they should be passionate of what they are about to embark on and never be resistant to change, have that love for the sport, be prepared to work with different people and to be in different environment mostly importantly commitment towards training”.

Life is a journey, at your age what can you say has been valuable experience?

Looking back, I would say the most valuable experience or lesson I’ve gained from my journey is that I have learned how to improve interpersonal skills and how to build teamwork, develop self-esteem and learnt how to boost confidence and lastly leadership.

Is there anything that you would like to change, if given the opportunity to turn back the clock of your life?

If I could go back in time, what I would want to do differently is educate parents so that they motivate the young ones to join the sport at a young age in order for them to have a good basic volleyball understanding.

What is your advice to aspiring volleyball players?

My advice to aspiring volleyball players is that “for you to be a good player you need to have self-respect, without that you can’t respect anyone, always commit to training, learn to take criticism in a positive way good or bad, be positive toward training, learn from the best don’t compete with them and there is never i can’t if you have not tried”.

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