Helalia Johannes, Lahja Ishitile and Christine Mboma were recognised for their excellence at the African Union Sport Council Region 5 Regional Annual Sport Awards (Rasa) held in Matshapa, Eswatini, on Saturday.
Evergreen long-distance runner Johannes won the prestigious sportswoman of the year award, with Ishitile claiming the sportswoman of the year with a disability prize, while Mboma scooped the junior sportswoman of the year award.
Compatriots Ananias Shikongo and Peter Shalulile unfortunately did not emerge top of the sportsman of the year with a disability, and sportsman of the year categories, respectively.
Budding sprinter Letsile Tebogo of Botswana won the vote for the sportsman of the year, but lost out to Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini for the sportsperson of the year top prize.
Meanwhile, Zambia won the sport nation of the year award, with their Fifa Women’s World Cup-bound Copper Queens claiming the team of the year award, while Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation reporter Memory Malisawa was honoured as the journalist of the year.
The Rasa 2023 host nation’s solitary win came from taekwondo starlet Sihlelelwe Matsebula, who was voted the outstanding junior sportsman of the year.
Rasa is a Region 5 premier event to celebrate sporting excellence of its 10 member countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The accolades are bestowed upon athletes, coaches, member countries, journalists and teams which have produced outstanding performances in sport at regional and international level over the past year.