Growing up in a small township called Okakarara in Windhoek, Namibia, Vewe Kotjipati (27) never dreamt that she will one day play professional football in Germany. She reminisces on her upbringing to campaigning in one of the world’s most professionally ran female football leagues.
“I did Athletics and I was very good. One day our school soccer team needed some players to help out at the soccer game and they asked me, during my training. I was even bare foot but I just played as a striker and I wasn’t really good in the game, but I had so much fun and from there I just wanted to play football,” Kotjipati said.
She still continued with athletics but also played for the school soccer Team. She later played for JS Football Academy in Namibia.
“It was amazing, especially as a young player. It molded me. The club had good coaches, the organization was professional and it was just the right set- up for any young girl,” she added.
She believes the academy was not only focused on improving their football skills, but also had so many opportunities to learn about life skills.
“I am so thankful for Coach Jacqui Shipanga for creating this club. We had so many beautiful memories and the fighting spirit was so high,” she reminisced.
The defender believes that playing in Germany is a life changing opportunity for her and she’s proud to be representing her country in a world stage.
“Borussia Mönchengladbach is one of the most historical clubs in Germany. For me it is just such a big privilege to play for them. This club is of another caliber. The Club has a lot of young players, but great talents. This season we were in a position to be promoted in the first Bundesliga,” she said excitedly.
The Namibian national believes that the Corona Epidemic has stopped everything and she’s anxious about the decision that may have to be taken.
“With Corona everything is just ruined and if it has to do with games being won on the field then it is really unfair, if decisions will be made against us. For now we are just waiting to see what is going to happen. We are also not sure if the league will continue to be played,” she added.
She’s also fortunate to be playing for the Namibian National team and believes her team is one of the best national team’s Namibia has ever had. She also believes that Namibia is a beautiful country. They take so much pride in it and playing football which is one of the popular games in our country or in the world is the best feeling ever.
“Being part of the Namibian women national team is my greatest honor. I am just so thankful for every opportunity. I really want to win something big with this national team. This is one of Namibians best group and we could achieve so much. In the past we were really unlucky, but for once this team will so much deserve to be successful. I am so greatfull to be playing with talented players like Zenatha Coleman,” she said.
Kotjipati has never dreamt of playing abroad as she didn’t think she was good enough but she says getting this opportunity has really boosted her confidence.
“I never dreamt of playing football abroad. I thought I wasn’t that talented, but I am hard working and I always do my best to improve and now I feel like I am at my best level. I have grown so much as an individual, but also as a player. I am now a role model and I want to live up to that,” she added.
She believes that Women football can still grow if the leaders of African football can invest more in young girls.
“I think women football in Africa has grown. The leaders in African football can do more to improve the game for women. Let the girls play more so that we can have equal opportunities like the men. If I compare it to Germany then I know we need to do more in grassroots football, but on top the girls must play as more as possible,” she said.
She also says that Women teams should be given the same chances as their male counterparts.
“Qualifications should be played in Groups and not rounds. This is just a fair chance that you can lose a game, but have opportunity to beat another team or two to still qualify. In football everything is possible, so we should give women teams that same chance,”
Kotjipati says her advice to young girls who play football is to dream big.
“My advice to all young girls out there is to never limit themselves. In life everything is possible as Long as you set yourself goals. You are hungry to achieve them and you are very disciplined,” she concluded.