The University of Botswana (UB) will be honouring Botswana’s history making sprint sensation, Isaac “Badman” Makwala during the Inaugural Annual Marathon on November 27. Patriot Sport Correspodent, KABO RAMASIA chats to the legend.
Globally recognised elite athlete Isaac ‘Badman’ Makwala, announced his retirement from the national team mid this year. However, it remains unclear whether he will still be participating in the Diamond league. In an interview with this week, Makwala said he is happy to be recognised by institution because he has been training at the UB stadium since 2013.
“I feel happy to be honoured by UB because it shows that they recognise my contribution to national development and sports since I started my career. For the better part of my career, I was based at UB and now that I am finally retiring, I feel grateful to have contributed to sports development in the county,” Makwala told The Patriot Sports.
He said being recognised as one of the top athletes in Botswana is a good thing. In the same vein, he urged Batswana to register in numbers for the UB Marathon to come and also pay tribute to him. “They should come and see this milestone that I have achieved,” he asserted.
For his part, his coach, also sports officer at UB, Justice Dipeba, who has worked with the athlete for over a decade hailed him as an epitome of hardwork. “I have worked/coached Makwala for more than 10 years now,” said coach Dipeba.
The locally and internationally celebrated coach who is himself a former athlete, said Makwala has done more than he can ask for. Dipeba described Makwala as a passionate, dedicated, and amazing sportsman.
“He has represented Botswana well. He has paved a way for the young and upcoming athletes not only for track and field but across all the sporting codes in Botswana” stated Dipeba.
According to the coach, Makwala has made upcoming athletes believe with hardwork and dedication, anything is possible. Makwala has set the pace, he said. Dipeba added that Makwala is a role model to many sportsmen and women in Botswana.
As the date to celebrate the legendary sportsman draws near, his coach has hailed the University of Botswana for having been accommodative of him for over 10 years now. He emphasised that just like that the institution which was built by Batswana’s sacrifices even those who had little, the story of Makwala’s rise to greatness is inspiring to all who wish from nothing.
“He had a little. But he believed that he could work hard and become a big brand and he did,’’ said Dipeba, adding that “he is a good example that, with the little that you have, if you use it well, you can go far.”
Furthermore, the award winning Dipeba, said it is indeed special and humbling to see UB honouring Makwala. He expressed that this honour is important as it is a gesture by the school recognising one of its own.
A university of Botswana Sport Psychology lecturer, Dr. Tshepang Tshube, who is also the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairperson, indicated that there are several reasons why UB honours Makwala, the first one being that he has trained for the longest time at the institution.
It is for this reason therefore that Dr Tshube said it was befitting to hail the sport icon through the inaugural marathon. “It is actually typical for top athletes to be honoured in retirement where there is an actual event that says thank you for serving the nation and thank you for serving the university of Botswana and for giving your life to track and field throughout your athletic career,” said Tshube.
He said Makwala owes his success to UB more so than he was mentored by a UB employee. “He has given so much to Botswana and the University has given so much to him,” stressed the academic.
Makwala become the first man in history to run 200m in 20 seconds and 400m in 44 seconds on the same day at the Madrid meet in 2017.
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