Blowing the whistle

!Gaoses is a basketball referee pioneer

25 June 2019 | Mense
Justicia Shipena





Tamara !Gaoses is the first internationally recognised female 3x3 basketball referee in the country and this qualification allowed her to officiate at the Under-18 3X3 IBF Young Lions Cup, which was held in Botswana in January.

Born and raised in Windhoek, !Gaoses attended People’s Primary School from grade one until grade four. She then continued her primary education at Eros Primary School and moved over to Khomas High School for her secondary education.

At Khomas High School she failed her Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examination and subsequently enrolled at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol), where she completed her JSC and grade 12 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC).

!Gaoses’ basketball journey began while she was still in high school.

“My friend invited me to her practice and ever since then I never looked back,” she said.

She said refereeing is her biggest confidence-builder ever.

“I was nurtured and I am still growing and building because I'm trying to reach a level of travelling all around the world to referee 3x3 games,” she said.

The first internationally recognised 3x3 female referee in Namibia said she never thought she would make it this far, but that it’s is all part of God’s plan for her life.

She thanked her team, Basketball Artist School (BAS) director Ramah Mumba, BAS coordinator Malakia Matias and Technical Basketball Academy TBA) president Titus Mwahafa, who ignited her spark for basketball.

!Gaoses told The Zone that her biggest challenge is that people expect more from her, including that she should not make mistakes.

She added that many people look up to her now so she has to lead by example.

“My fellow youth, it is up to you to take Namibia into the future and rebuild it... we can do it if we work together,” she said.

She said that reaching an incredible milestone for female referees in the country serves as an example that the country needs to further break down certain stigmas.

!Gaoses said it is very important that we try to nurture more female basketball referees and work with the International Basketball Federation (IBF) for them to see how important it is to Namibia.

“This is why we want to base clinics in every region in Namibia and have basketball referees across the country,” she said.

Her motto in life is: Never give up and never look back; always keep on moving and strength comes from picking yourself up when you fall, always!

She urges young people out there to always take very opportunity they get and put it to good use, whether in sport or academics.



!Gaoses fact box:

She started playing soccer in kindergarten.

She played hockey in primary school.

She loves to dance, sing and laugh.

She loves to network with people.

She loves poetry, movies and reading.

She has a list of things she would love to accomplish in the years to come.

She a family person.

She is a go-getter and reliable.

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