• April 19th, 2019
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Tales of the legends - Dribbling hotshot who tormented opposition

Special Focus, Sport
Special Focus, Sport

Different tribal factions so forcefully advocated and implemented by the South African apartheid regime may have been what turned many local sports clubs, football in particular, to be established strictly along tribal line.

This divide and rule strategy was primarily aimed at preventing darkies from mingling freely among each other – but it dismally failed to discourage athletes to display their god-given talent with the clubs and sports entities of their preferred choice.

One such athlete was former Blue Waters and Orlando Pirates lethal goal poacher one Alpheus Amadhila, better known as Moloi in football circles. 

The nimble-footed striker was rightfully named after the former Orlando Pirates (SA) striker Percy ‘Chippa’ Moloi, who left deep tracks in the annals of Namibian football during his brief stint with Tsumeb-based outfit Etosha Lions (Chief Santos) in the late 60’s.

New Era Sports caught up with the much-travelled Moloi in his remote native town Otavi, where he has retreated since he took a final bow from the game that made him one of the very few much-adored athletes of all time and a household name in domestic football.  

OTAVI – An avid Manchester United fan, Moloi was born in Otavi on the 8th of July 1961 and was known by his clan name Goraeb during his formative years.

As to his football career, Moloi started chasing leather at a fairly young age after he relocated to Grootfontein to settle in the vastly populated Omulunga residential area.

It was in Grootfontein where he honed his football skills after he teamed up with boys from the neighbourhood in the popular street games before he graduated to playing organized football with a small local team of youngsters going by the name of Golden Star.

From Golden Star, Moloi hoppled to Goal Hunters FC, later to be rechristened Chelsea where he teamed up with the crème de la crème of Grootfontein's young and highly gifted footballers.

Moloi was not only a prolific goal scorer, he was blessed with pace, shooting from a distance and could strike the ball with unbelievable accuracy with both feet. He also possessed that rare ability to easily wangle his way out of tight situations with his amazing dribbling skills.

He tormented teams in the domestic knockout competitions in the Maize Triangle (Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumeb) and while playing for Goal Hunters.

Moloi was spotted by Theodore Kuzatjike, a bloke with dual attachment to both Poison Arrows (Grootfontein) and Katutura-based Flames. The wide-awake Kuzatjike persuaded the deadly striker to join forces with Poison Arrows’ sister team Flames in Windhoek in 1977 and as they say, the rest is history.

“I vividly remember the day I arrived in Windhoek.  I was immediately placed in the care of a club official, the late Darius Tjakaurua, and stayed at his residence in the Herero section, Katutura, nearby the then notorious Single Quarters.

“In those days, there were no organized league structures in place with clubs mostly indulging in playing exhibition matches or competing in the fiercely contested knockout cup tournaments in the absence of prize monies,” recalls Moloi incoherently.

After a season and half with the ambitious gold and green Katutura outfit, Moloi jumped ship to join Orlando Pirates in search of greener pastures and featured for the club’s equally strong second strings as he struggled to carve himself a starting berth in the Ghosts star-studded first team, where Lemmy and Michael Pienaar reigned supreme.

While turning out for the Central Invitational Eleven against the visiting Western side – Moloi became friends with a skinny young striker going by the name of Eben “She” Ndjuela. The baby faced Ndjuela managed to sweet talk Moloi to relocate to the coastal harbour town so that the two of them could team up at coastal giants Blue Waters FC.

“I was disappointed at losing out for selection in the trials but it was tough since I was competing directly for the same position with African Stars’ toe-poking centre forward Ace Tjirera, who got the nod ahead of me as a result of my poor aerial ability.”

Strangely, Moloi walked straight into the Blue Waters star-studded first team where he found himself in the company of great footballers in the mould of Aupapa Shipanga, Koko Muatunga, Riva Jekonia, Ranga Lucas, Bandi Namaseb, Phello Muatunga, Shopi Shekupe, Bonetti Niilenge, Eusebio Kandjai, Ennos Petrus, Hendrik Dawids and Jerry Shikongo among a galaxy of stars at the coastal outfit.

However, Moloi found himself on the substitute’s bench when Blue Waters confronted his former club Orlando Pirates in the final of a knockout cup tournament in Walvs Bay.

With the Ghosts cruising to what looked like a comfortable victory after taking a comfortable three-goal cushion midway through the second half – coach Ivo de Gouveia summed Moloi from the bench and the nimble-footed striker repaid the faith put in him with a well-taken hat-trick to force the tie into extra time and subsequent dreaded penalty shootout.

He netted the first penalty for the Birds as the coastal giants defeated Pirates after staring defeat in the face. Pirates’ officials had seen enough and came knocking soon afterwards for his services but Moloi was reluctant to leave.

“What actually happened is the late Dios ‘Zebo’ Engelbrecht and Lemmy Narib literally abducted me and smuggled me out of Kuisebmond at night en route to Windhoek,” recounts Moloi.

His second spell with the Ghosts saw Moloi establish himself in no time as the club’s leading striker alongside Ali Goraseb and Bandi Namaseb. The trio formed a telepathic understanding - tormenting rival teams at will. His prolonged lodging in the Buccaneers’ strike force was further strengthened by the arrival of Ben ‘Kleintjie’ Gaseb, Jorries Afrikaner and gangling goal poacher Theoboldt ‘Momina’ Gurirab. 

After a successful spell with the Ghosts where he oversaw several generations at the club, it was time to say adios and Moloi left the club to find refuge with Khorixas outfit Robber Chanties in 1980 before winding up his flourishing football career at Life Fighters in Otjiwarongo.

A man of the cloth nowadays, Moloi has since retreated to his native town Otavi where he is serving the Almighty by spreading the Gospel in the neigbourhood and remote villages of the Otjozondjupa Region. 

He still cherishes his great moments on the football pitch and regards both former Blue Waters team-mates Ranga Lucas and Riva Jekonia as the most difficult defenders he ever came across. 

By Carlos ‘CK’  Kambaekwa

New Era Reporter
2014-05-30 09:35:06 4 years ago

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