Wayde van Niekerk, 24 year old South African athlete made history on Sunday night ( 14/08/2016) at RIO 2016 when he won a gold medal at the 400 metres race and broke a 17 year old record in men’s track and field which had been set by the American, Michael Jordan, in 1999.

But guess what the real trip was; Wayde’s coach is a soon-to-be 75 year old great-grandmother Anna Sofia ( Ansa) Botha. 

Namibian-born great grandma Botha had never before been to the Olympics but had been planning with Wayde to win this medal since 2013. And fast forward to 2016 Mama Botha is trending!!!

In one of her interviews with Karen Crouse of The New York Times, who referred to her as “a most unlikely coach”, great grandma Botha has this to say:

It’s very important for me to be there every day with Wayde or any of my other athletes to see every day if there is a problem.” She continues “I have to read my athlete. I have to read his mind and read his body and listen to what his body tells me. I think  I have the ability to know my athletes inside out.” From the New York Times. 

In Proverbs  27:23  the Bible says “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.”

Mama Botha is diligent enough to know the state of all her athletes. Awesome!

The diligence of Mama Botha…………..

But this is exactly how diligent David the shepherd was with his sheep such that when the challenge of Goliath the Philistine came he was able to cross the hurdle. 1 Samuel 17:34-37

Mama Botha started this career in 1968……………

Yes sounds like eons ago but she just did not quit.

Purpose driven…. If you ask me………….

The Bible says in Proverbs  22:29 – “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

I assure you Mama Botha is not just standing,  but standing tall with her shock of snow white hair.

Friends, hard work and diligence always pay off.

For almost 5 decades Mama Botha had been giving her all to her profession as a coach and to her athletes and today the whole world is celebrating her.

Don’t give up and don’t let anything hold you back now!


Oluyinka Ego-Martins ©