The 18-year-old, who finished third in the Cape Town Cycle Tour last month, said her focus this year had been on building strength for the years to come in her racing category.
“My goal this weekend will be similar to that – focusing on staying smooth and consistent on the bike and doing the best I can.
“I’m not really going into the race with too high expectations; I just want to go out and enjoy it.”
Keep said she was still in the process of getting used to the longer races in her category after racing as a junior.
“We’re racing at least two more laps per race this year and that’s quite an adjustment, but I’m enjoying the longer races so far.”
She added that she had only competed in the African champs once previously – as a sub-junior in 2013.
“I’ll just go out and do my best this time. There’s only one real tactic in cross-country racing and that’s to go as fast as you can from the word go.”
Keep, who surged to victory in this year’s Herald Cycle Tour, said she enjoyed the course after her practice sessions.
“It’s evident that the designers have put in lots of work on the track and that’s greatly appreciated by the riders.
“It’s fun to practise and race on. It’s also quite taxing as the climbs are long and hard, but the descents are worth it.
“This is a proper cross-country course and spectator-friendly. It’s also natural, but to the extent where there are some man-made features, so it makes for interesting racing.”
She said this was her first time in Namibia and that the conditions differed greatly from her home province of KwaZulu-Natal.
“It’s dry and loose here with small pebbles. I like the natural track though and it changes as the cyclists ride it.”
Keep added that this was an important race in her calendar.
“For any cross-country rider this is a prestigious event to compete in. It means a lot to pull on your country’s kit; it’s a huge honour,” said the Valley Electrical Titan Racing rider.
She said she felt fortunate to have had a good season so far.
“[That’s] thanks to quite a bit of hard work which I’ve put in behind the scenes. Good results are always a confidence booster, but I have to keep a level head.
“I prefer not to live from race to race, but rather see it as an overall journey.”