Squash attracts foreign competitors

Top players from Egypt and Nigeria compete in Namibia for the first time.
Brian Munango
The BDO Namibian Squash Open 2023 – the first-ever with PSA professional entries from leading African countries – took place at the Wanderers Squash club over the course of four days.

The prestigious tournament started last Wednesday leading up to the finals on Saturday.

In the past, Zambians and South Africans were regular entries for the Namibian Open squash tournament. Due to the fact that this year’s event had PSA status, highly ranked players from Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria joined for the first time, which was an exciting breakthrough for Namibian squash players and enthusiasts.

The PSA women’s final saw Menna Walid (ranked 113th in the world) take on her Egyptian compatriot Mariam Ashraf, ranked 247th. Menna Walid fought back well after losing the first set 9-11, to take the next three 11-5, 11-6 and 11-4.

The Egyptian ambassador to Namibia, Wael Lotfy, was present at the opening day of the tournament to cheer and show support to his compatriots. After the all-Egyptian women’s final, Lotfy said: “I would love to come watch squash every day, so huge congratulations to the organisers for putting this together. It was great!”

In the PSA men’s final Damian Groenewald (RSA) took on Nigeria’s Adegoke Onaopemipo in a match that had spectators on the edge of their seats as it took all 5 sets for there to be a winner.

Onaopemipo came back from two sets down (8-11, 10-12) to win the next three closely-contested sets by 11-9, thereby clinching the title.

After the game he said, “Fighting back like that took a lot out of me. After I had fallen behind, I knew I had to give everything. In Nigeria we don’t give up, so I pushed till the end and it paid off.”

Namibia’s number one men’s seed, Max Endjala, lost in his first-ever PSA match to Nigeria’s Kehinde Samuel Temitope.

Endjala said: “I’m enjoying this tournament so much. My match started off much better than I expected as I was leading the first set 9-6, but my opponent showed his class to win deservedly. No excuses.

“This tournament was really wonderful exposure for squash in Namibia. The value to us is massive and we appreciate the effort by the organisers.”

In the men’s A division, Faruq Silaimon (Nigeria) took first place, Lukumba Muchimba (Zambia) second and James Dalidi (Kenya) in third.

Philip Musonda (Zambia) was the champion of the men’s B Division.

In the women’s A division, Dené van Zyl from South Africa took first place, Lida-Marie Calitz (Namibia) was in second and Diana Musa (Zambia) took third.


Despite the withdrawal of Zimbabwe and Zambia from an intended four-nations tournament, the Namibian men’s and women’s teams will take on South Africa in a test series starting at Wanderers today.