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Tales of the Legends - Hennie Dawies, football wizard

Special Focus, Sport
Special Focus, Sport

As a footballer and astute football administrator, Hendrik Dawid’s record in domestic football speaks volumes as can be attested by the avalanche of titles he won during his days with Chief Santos, Namib Woestyn, Blue Waters, Sparta and the role he played off the field by steering Katutura giants Orlando Pirates, to their one and only league title in post Independence. Blessed with amazing pace and sweet left foot - Hennie, as the lanky left footed winger was affectionately known among his vast circle of friends, started his football career with hometown club, Nomtsoub giants Etosha Lions, where he had the rare opportunity of being taken through the ropes by one of Africa’s finest footballers, one Percy ‘Chippa’ Moloi.

His career took a dramatic turn when he joined coastal outfit Blue Waters from rivals Namib Woestyn, who recruited the youngster to replace his departed nephew Straal Auchumeb, elder brother of former Chief Santos sharpshooter, Celle Auchumeb. When Straal passed on, the club wanted to sign his younger sibling Celle, but he could not relocate to Walvis Bay, so it was left to me young Hennie to heed to call and as they say, the rest is history. In the spirit of transparency, New Era Sports would like to relate to you our esteemed readers about his struggles to join Blue Waters after he was bluntly told the club could not guarantee him a starting berth since his preferred position on the left wing was already occupied by the Birds’ blue-eyed boy, Mathew Amadhila.

By Carlos   Kambaekwa

WALVIS-BAY – Hendrik Dawid was born in Tsumeb in 1954, and grew up in the football crazy Nomtsoub residential area. As a youngster, he used to be a noted athlete who excelled in both the middle and long distance races.

Unlike many other aspiring young footballers who begun their football careers with smaller teams kicking around in street games, Hennie found himself in the company of established footballers at a very tender age when he joined Etosha Lions, to be renamed Chief Santos in later years.

Together with former Santos dribbling wizard, Steps Nickel, the pair were the youngest members of the squad under the stewardship of former Orlando Pirates (South Africa) nimble footed midfielder, Moloi, who was brought to South West Africa (SWA) by the late beanpole football guru, Herbert Conradie, in 1969.

Upon completion of his primary school at Nomtsoub Primary School in his native Tsumeb, young Hennie moved to Khorixas to further his studies at the popular Cornelius Goreseb High School, but the highly gifted left-winger could not break into the school’s first team.

“When I arrived there, the school’s team had Paul ‘Gawarib’ Urib, playing in my preferred position, it was extremely difficult to unlock him because he was an exceptional talent. So, I ended up playing for the second team until my departure,” reveals Hannie.

He retreated to Tsumeb to be reunited with his beloved Santos and was among the new generation to take over the reigns from the old guard of Engelhard Gariseb and Benzil Gotiseb.

His second spell coincided with the arrival of Moloi, who transformed the highly gifted youngster into a fearless attacking winger, much to the amusement of Moloi, who was very keen to take Hennie and team mate Steps, to Johannesburg, to play professional football.

“At the time, I was still very young and my mother refused point blank to allow me to leave for South Africa because there was this perception that Johannesburg was rough and dangerous. My old lady was scared she might not see me alive again, so the deal fell through”.

After enjoying some success with Santos, his next stop was the harbour town, Walvis Bay, heeding the call by the elders to join Kuisebmond outfit Namib Woestyn in 1977 to fill the void vacated by the untimely death of his nephew, Straal.

With no proper league structures in place, many football clubs used to engage in knockout tourneys and on one particular occasion, Woestyn were featuring in a competition at home but Hennie was left out of the match day squad.

He opted to turn out for former team Santos, as a guest player and went onto torment the opposition with his speed and strong shooting. Woestyn has certainly seen enough and rewarded Hennie with a recall to the first team where he was to become a regular player in the gold and green outfit.

After two solid seasons with Woestyn, it was time to move on, but Hennie was to be disappointed when his desire to relocate to rivals Blue Waters, was met with the following words.

“If you really want to come and join us, you must be satisfied with a place on the substitute’s bench because we have Mathew (Amadhila), who is an excellent left winger,” those were the words of former skipper, the late Pari Shekupe.

As fate would have it, Mathew had to undergo a knee operation - thus opening space for newcomer, Hennie to showcase his talent. The tricky left-winger instantly cemented himself as a valuable member in the star-studded Birds’ playing personnel and became the toast of the club’s usually hard-to-please followers.

Hennie made his debut against local rivals Explorer Eleven and managed to get his name on the score sheet in Blue Waters 3-1 victory.

He went onto to represent the Birds with distinction winning several knockout tourneys with the coastal outfit including league titles and the popular Daves Cup. Hennie also represented the Western Invitational side for national trials but was made to play second fiddle to the pair of Chelsea’s terrible wingers, Richo and Tiger Francis.

The quicksilver winger sent shockwaves amongst Blue Waters followers when he left the club in a hush to join cross-town rivals, Sparta alongside team mate Cruyff Kudulu. However, his journey was cut short when elders intervened and convinced the prodigal son to return to his beloved Blue Waters.

After playing for few seasons, he became the first former footballer to own a football club when he took over the entire administration of Blue Waters, in the process making the coastal outfit the first club in the history of domestic football to be run professionally within an amateur setup.

Hennie wasted little time and recruited former Dynamos Football Club bulky defender, Shepard Murape, as head coach. The well-experienced Zimbabwean returned the compliment by transforming the seasiders into a formidable force leading the club to its first league title after Independence, but left the club soon afterwards. He was to be replaced by Ali Akan, who reciprocated his appointment by adding another league title.

In 2006, Hennie lost out on becoming President of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), narrowly beaten by incumbent President, John Muinjo, in a heated contested race.

The football crazy Hennie led the country’s flagship league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL) for 7-months before he vacated the hot seat – citing frustration at the lack of co operation.

“The problem was with clubs for their constant failure to introduce youth development programmes and to embrace the concept of professionalism,”

He took over the reigns at Katutura giants Orlando Pirates in 2008 and in only his first season as club owner, the Ghosts won the coveted MTC Premiership title under the guidance of coach, Dawid Snewe.

The well-spoken Hennie eventually called it quits from the game after three seasons with the Buccaneers in what he terms football politics and hidden agendas by those he trusted.  


New Era Reporter
2014-07-25 10:49:30 4 years ago

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