Namibia’s golfing sensation, 21-year-old Likius Nande, remains without a sponsor despite dominating the sport locally for three years.
The 2018 Namibia Sport Star of the Year says he still uses his own money to pay for tournaments that he participates in despite the fact that he has dominated almost every tournament that he has taken part in since 2015.
Nande’s road to glory started in 2015 when he won the Coastal Junior Open in Swakopmund.
He has also won the Open Championship in (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), Mariental Open (2016) Central Open (2017, 2018), Namibian Open(2017, 2018), Rossmund Open(2017), Northern Open(2017, 2018), Speergebiet Open (2017, 2018), Gold Cup (2017, 2018), Windhoek Open (2018), Oranjemund Open (2018), Omeya Open(2017) and the Africa Jacket(2018).
In the process, Namibia’s number one golfer has broken several course records.
Nande surprised everyone in October when he won the Namibia Sport Star of the Year award ahead of Commonwealth Games gold medalists Jonas Junias Jonas (boxing) and Helalia Johannes (marathon runner).
He walked away with N$200,000 in prize money.
The Swakopmund native started playing golf in 2007 after he was introduced to the sport by Eddy Angula, an executive member of Blue Boys Football Club.
“Eddy, a professional golf coach, is the man who introduced me to the game in 2007 when I was 10 years old, and from there I just fell in love with the sport.
“I cannot say that golf has changed my life because I am still an amateur and I do not get paid for playing, but it has taught me patience, discipline and to be respectful towards people,” Nande said.
He said he will use the money that he won at the sports awards to pay for future tournaments since he does not have a sponsor.
“So basically I am just going to invest in myself,” he said.
Nande is a big admirer of former world number 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, while locally Trevor Doods, Namibia’s greatest golfer, is someone that he looks up to and would like to emulate one day.
“I have always looked up to Tiger since I was a kid and I still look up to him. He is the greatest of all times and I was lucky to have seen him play in England in 2012.
“Trevor is the only Namibian to have won an international championship at a professional level and he did it multiple times, and as a golfer it is my goal to achieve the same success,” Nande said.
Following his victory at the Sport Awards, a number of critics felt that he did not deserve to win, but Nande said he is not bothered by the critics.
“I have never come across someone telling me that and if there is someone who thinks that I did not deserve the award, that doesn’t change anything.”
He said he is focused on achieving his dream of becoming a professional golfer one day.
“Nobody really thought I will make it to where I am in this game. I also did not even think that one day I will be my country’s number one golfer.”
Nande practices six days a week at the Rossmund Golf Club in Swakopmund.
He said he has not let fame change who he is as a person.
“I am still the old me and I have learned not to let success change me as a person.”