“I would always brag about being from Africa,”
SPORT FEATURE: Nate Landman, Zimbabwe born, American raised, is the latest Zimbabwean to play in the NFL for Atlanta Falcons after the defensive end, Stansly Maponga during the 2013-14 season.
Nate is a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, and according to the NFL Heritage Program currently running, which recognized over 330 players and coaches under thier league’s international diversity series, saw Landman take the opportunity to honor his cultural background by wearing the Zimbabwean flag on his uniform.
In an exclusive by Terrin Waak, Nate shared his joy to be representing his birth country in the NFL.
“It means a lot,” Landman said. “I have a tremendous amount of pride being born in Zimbabwe.”
Before Nate, the Falcons had the pleasure to host another Zimbabwean. Stansly Maponga Sr. a Zimbabwean professional American footballer, currently the defensive lineman for the Orlando Guardians of the XFL, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and played his college football at TCU.
“For me, making it to the NFL was a dream of mine,” Maponga said. “But mostly, just coming from Zimbabwe, I wanted to take care of my family. Then, out of nowhere, knowing that I would be the first, it’s still kind of surprising. You just try to take it in and try to see how I can give back.
“I can show the kids back home that if I can do it, you guys can do it, too. It’s all a mindset. Then, on top of that, if you’re doing it for the right reasons – to take care of your family – trust me, it’ll all work out and you can do it, too.” he added speaking to Terrin Waak.
Maponga and Landman are Harare raised before moving to the United States, and are both American citizens still carrying their nations pride through sport and deep family connections.