Nigel Amos, who has placed the country’s flag in a competitive international platform, first caught Batswana and the world’s attention in 2012 during his first entry in a world competition when he won a silver medal at the London Olympics 2012 in a 800m race.
This 20 years old who has been participating in more than 50 world athlete’s competition and emerging victorious in most of them, has earned being celebrated together with other elite athletes worldwide such as Adam Gemini, Usain Bolt and Rudisha David to name a few.
Getting to know Nigel
1. We know you as a professional athlete, what else do you do?
At this point in time, I am studying at Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, a few kilometres from Mafikeng where I am pursuing a degree in Sports Medicine.
2. How has your life changed ever since your breakthrough?
My life hasn’t changed much. My routine is still the same but a bit hectic. I still wake up in the morning, shower, eat, go for training, attend classes, after classes there is more training, back to my crib, eat, shower, and sleep. Oh, I forgot, sometimes signing autographs and taking pictures with my supporters is in my daily routine.
3. Would you say you are well-known and recognized around the world?
I would say I’m recognized and people are very supportive and kind. I actually don’t try to isolate myself. With such fame, remaining humble helps. I try to live a normal life and the best part is that I am treated equally as others especially in places you wouldn’t expect, like at school.
4. What are your goals?
I strive for succeed therefore my goal is to invest in as much as possible while still young. Currently I’m already investing in property, I own a cattle farm ko gae, and a truck hiring company. I feel the need to venture more in business.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment in sports?
My first international recognition when I won a Gold medal, or should I say, when my country won a Gold medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
6. What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?
When I had an injury that took 6 months to recover, that was the nethermost highlight of my sports life because most people turned their back on me and were not there to support. I had to go to Marobela were my cousin who’s like a brother and a mentor to me helped me through my recover and my family was very caring, loyal and reassuring.
7. Any other interests away from the track?
Soccer, Music and being on my own most of the times.
8. On the track with such strong contenders like David Rudisha, who would you say you admire or look up to?
My training partner, Andrew Oliver. Goggle him o tla mmona.
9. The greatest highlight of your life as Nigel Amos the athlete…
My grandmother passed away when I was writing my final exams, BGCSE, so I made a promise that I will make sure I win. Not for me but for her. Ever since then I have been doing well and it’s because I am doing this for her.
10. Athletes are always running against the clock, so I bet you like speed…
Obvious. I bought my first car when I was 18. And now I have 5 cars. I will probably sell some and buy more.
11. You are always on the move; career and school-how do you balance your life and time?
Most of the times I actually travel back home straight to Marobela, especially when I’m feeling under the weather. My family gives me strength.
12. If we are to exclude you from this year’s sportsman of the year who would you nominate or rather give the award to?
Isaac Makwala, another track representative for Botswana. I know, you only expect one award recipient but I would also nominate the young rising athletes because soon they will emerge winners and great reps of Botswana. Besides that’s where I started.
13. If track was not in your horizon, what would you opt for?
Before track, I played soccer at my senior secondary school. All along I was contemplating on focusing on it and seeing the likes of Andile Jali from my favourite team Orlando Pirates, I am still motivated and driven to pursuing soccer as my profession.
14. So you do have interest in other sports code, what are your other favourite teams besides Orlando Pirates?
Township Rollers and Chelsea, I roll with the best.
15. Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years from now?
I see myself as more than a sportsperson, but rather a business orientated gentleman. I want to invest in property and agriculture. Nurturing what I have been doing all along. But in terms of sports- I will probably still be representing my country in the track. Even beyond 10 years.
16. The most hilarious advice ever given…
Keep your distance from girls as they are trouble. (laughs)
17. Is there any saying or motto that you live by and keep you going?
Don’t try to be somebody else’s role model, believe in yourself and live the life you aspire to live.
18. What do you think of the future of sports in Botswana? Can it be considered as a profession?
I would consider it a profession but the only thing holding us back is the failure to invest in the talent. We expect results and do not nurture. We have a long way to go but if we change a few things and start capitalising, devoting and participating more as Batswana, companies and sports associations, we will advance in sports.
Nigel Amos continues to lounge in the midst of success, there is no doubt that his grass is greener and it’s a life he earned for himself. As he continues to ascend the world stage, the nation will be behind him all the way. We take pride in his excellent endeavours and he stands as the diamond of this promising land of Batswana.
Nigel Amos’ career and accomplishment
Sport Code: Track
Events: 400m, 800m
2011 Commonwealth Youth Games Bronze
2011 African Junior Championships Bronze
2012 Olympic Games Silver
2012 World Junior Championships Gold
2013 Universidad Gold
2014 Continental Cup Gold
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold
What we did not know about Nigel: He says he is half Muslim, half Christian “I even recite a Muslim prayer before my races.”
By Gaone Abigail Moalosi