Windhoek — One of Namibia's most promising young netball stars, Jaumbuaije 'Bytjie' Zauana, continues to hog the headlines in neighbouring South Africa, and judging from her current rich vein of form the 24-year-old goal shooter is definitely destined for the big stage.
Zauana, who plies her trade for the University of the Western Cape (UWC) where she is currently a second-year student, wasted little time in announcing her arrival on the shores of South African netball when she steered the Western Cape provincial team to a historic cup victory in the SPAR National Netball Championships, beating Free State 50-35 in last year's final.
Also during the 2016 SPAR National Netball Championships, 'Bytjie' was overwhelmingly chosen as the Goal Shooter of the Tournament. She was also awarded a Honours Accolade for representing Western Province with distinction while displaying great excellence.
Towering to an incredible 1.95m, 'Bytjie' - who formerly played for Black Africa back at home - has outstanding scoring prowess in front of goal, which has made her one of the most feared and reputable goal shooters in the highly competitive South African semi-professional Brutal Fruit netball league.
The Brutal Fruit netball league is contested by 10 teams from all nine South African provinces over a five-week period. The top five provincial teams form Division 1, while the remainder forms the league's Division 2.
This year, Zauana's University of the Western Cape (UWC) side made their long-awaited debut in the South Africa Varsity Cup, which saw them finishing 5th overall out of the seven teams that competed. UWC replaced fellow Capetonians the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the university competition.
"I believe we could have done better in the Varsity Cup, but unfortunately some key players such as myself and a few others picked up minor injuries, which resulted in a lack of much-needed depth within the team, but I'm happy that we will manage to finish 5th overall. All in all, I really have to say it has been a great two years here in South Africa, as I have learned a lot as a player and also personally. My goal is to go as far as I can in South Africa," said Zauana in an interview with New Era Sport.
Touching on the pressure that comes with being a full-time student and netball player, 'Bytjie' said: "I can't say it is easy because it takes a toll on your body at one point - but I guess I'm now used to it. Being a full-time student and netballer comes with endless sleepless nights, when you have to sit up almost all night catching up with your schoolwork - and then you are required to be ready to hit the training grounds the very next morning. But we have very supportive lecturers who understand our dynamics as students. So it's really not an easy routine, but with dedication, hard work and perseverance, everything is possible."
She adds that playing in the South African set-up has introduced her to a totally different dimension of netball, where professionalism and good governance, as well as great organisation in all aspects, are key.
Once her student and playing days are over, the Windhoek-born lethal hoop rattler says she would like to plough back and share her experience with fellow Namibians, by getting involved in local netball structures in whatever capacity.
The Namibian netball poster girl represented the country at the 2012 Youth World Youth Games in Scotland, United Kingdom and was also a key squad member of the TISAN netball team that competed at last year's World Student Games in Miami, United States of America.