Being a guide is special - Tjiviju

Even Tjiviju, who guided Ananias Shikongo to Paralympics glory in Rio, says he has always cherished being an athletics guide, while describing Shikongo as a “great inspiration”.
“I have been an athlete since I was in school and I always dreamt of becoming a world champion someday.
“However, I believe I can still achieve that dream, if I continue working hard on the track.
“Right now I am just happy that the athlete that I have guided managed to bring home three medals under my guidance.
“As a guide, it is very important that you maintain a great understanding and trust between you and the athlete you are guiding.
“You also have to start running to the technique the athlete you are guiding enjoys moving at, because that is what makes a successful guide,” Tjiviju explained.
The athlete lauded Shikongo, who won gold in the T11 200m final, silver in the T11 100m final and bronze in the T11 400m race, for his magnificent determination and the dedication he has shown during his career. Tjiviju says the fact that Shikongo rose above every single personal battle, to emerge as a Paralympic gold medallist and an African champion, sometimes feels like a dream to him.
Shikongo grew up in the Oshikoto region, in a village near the Angolan border. He lost his eyesight in two separate incidents during his childhood.
“As a guide it is important that the athlete you are assisting feels motivated and inspired.
“Shikongo is a remarkable talent, who has a great understanding of the track, even without him seeing it.
“His desire and determination is absolutely out of this world, and that is why I believe he can go on to become the Paralympics world champion, with his current form.
“I have been privileged to work with him for over four years now, because he has become a great inspiration to me as an athlete,” said Tjiviju, who has a personal best of 10,52 seconds in the 100m and 21,14 seconds in the 200m, while his best time in the 400m is 47,92 seconds.
The 24-year-old says that running alongside Shikongo has led to an improvement in his own performances.
“He is fast and that actually helps me during training, because I have managed to improve my fitness as well.
“I would also like to encourage all the visually impaired children to try athletics out, because people like us are there to help.
“I have fallen in love with being a guide and I will continue doing that for as long as my body can allow me to,” Tjiviju added.