Bobby Sissing 1942-2021
Namibian football is a great deal indebted to Bobby Sissing, aka “Uncle Bob”, as the hippy look-alike football-crazy staunch Arsenal fan was famously known amongst his admirers. Born in Keetmanshoop,
Bobby lived and consumed football from the day he made his first little steps on mother earth. The entire country mourns and at the same time celebrates a life well-lived. Without an iota of doubt, Uncle Bob was the face of Namibian football, never shied away from controversy, always prepared to throw his body on the line and rolling with the punches for the sake of equality.
He fought tooth and nail against racial discrimination in sport, and will go down in history as the longest-serving and most-loved football administrator of all time. A dedicated, uncompromising community-turned-political activist, Uncle Bob observed all structures of domestic football through thick and thin. He bravely masterminded the famous boycott of the South West Africa (SWA) mixed race bantus/coloured/basters Invitational Eleven.
The team was slated for a tour across the Orange River to partake in the South African Inter-Provincial tourney in 1965. However, the apartheid authorities ordered the squad to be split in two, since Bantus were strictly prohibited from mingling freely with other races.
However, the militant Uncle Bob would have none of that and dug his heels in the sand, obliging the envisaged SA safari to be called off. He was at the forefront again, this time pulling the plug on the Central Football Association (CFA) league under the auspices of the white-dominated SWAFA.
Uncle Bob then formed the militant CNFA League. A rare organic intellectual, the long-haired astute football guru moved swiftly, and found refuge with the hardcore South African Council on Sports (SACOS) under the slogan “No Normal Sport in An Abnormal Society”.
On the pitch, Uncle Bob was a fearless defender with Karasburg/Khomasdal outfit Marists United in his heyday, before forming his own team Atlanta Chiefs. In conclusion, my humble plea to local municipal authorities is, this is the most appropriate opportunity to rename the Khomasdal sport field after this great son of the soil. Please get it done and dusted without further delay. May his soul rest easy.
Adri Basson 1939-2021
The author had the privilege to interview this great man of substance when I penned his astonishing flawless golf profile a couple of years ago. Found him to be a genuinely warm, charming and straightforward fellow, and very passionate about golf. Sport in Namibia has an unfortunate chickened history as many achievements are not sufficiently recorded or archived, surely a sorry state of affairs. Nonetheless, Adri will go down in history as the most decorated golfer the country has ever unearthed. At times, one is shivering and wonders what Namibian golf would have been had Adri not been born. Doubtlessly the greatest golfer of all time, Adri tumbled a significant number of records, having won countless majors on the local circuit. For the full story, please visit our website.
Kilus Karaerua Munjuku Nguvauva
For many, the former Parliamentarian and often outspoken retired Deputy Minister was the designated Paramount Chief (PC) of the Ovambanderu tribe, but there is another unknown side of the uncompromising, departed political activist-cum-football club owner. A strong believer in the practice of fair justice for all, Kilus’ political interest started during his formative years as a vibrant pupil at the revered Spellmeyer Secondary School in the village of Gibeon.
The latter is doubtlessly the unheralded home of strategic politics. Upon completion of his secondary studies, the tireless Kilus enrolled at the Windhoek Academy Teachers College, where he doubled as security guard after darkness had set in to assist in the funding of his tuition fees and other basic needs. The move drew an uncool reaction from female student teachers, who ignorantly or rather foolishly poked fun at the bulky boy from the Cattle Country. He was labelled uncivilised and in dire need of refinement. Though many are unaware of his football exploits, Kilus was a regular starter for the Okakarara Technical College (OTC) football team. The hardworking fullback was very passionate about the overall development of youth in the vast Omaheke region, in addition to the wellbeing of his immediate community, hence his unselfish decision to form a football team, going by the name of Kilus Eleven FC.
Boebie Giersch 1953-2021
Just as the close-knit Ramblers family was recovering from the shock of losing club stalwarts Karl Heinz Steinfurth, aka “Steini”, Erich Muinjo and Hartmut Bayer in recent months, another tragedy struck the Tunschell Street Boys again with the sudden passing of former player Boebie Giersch, aged 68. The left-footed winger was one of the stars in the “Rammies” side that caused havoc in domestic football during the early 80’s. Packing a delicious left foot, the shaggy-haired skinny footie will be best-remembered for his trademark long-range cannon- like shots. With competition becoming stiff for starting berths, Boebie jumped ship, only to resurface at unfashionable cross-city rivals DTS, where he enjoyed more playing time at the less glamorous red/white stripped outfit until his retirement from competitive football, although he continued featuring for the club’s Alte Herren (old boys) way into his twilight years.
Immanuel Munjanda Koos Muaine
Younger brother of former Blue Waters lethal goal poacher Striker Muaine, the beanpole net-buster rose to prominence when his well-taken brace against a fired-up African Stars in the BP Top 8 final handed ‘Omeya’ a well-deserved, hard-earned 2-1 victory at Windhoek’s Independence stadium in 1996. His gorgeous pair of powerfully headed goals left his homeboy Colin Usurua catching flies.
The towering Koos began his promising albeit short-lived football path with Eleven Arrows. He won the JPS Knockout Cup in a live televised final against bitter rivals Blue Waters at the packed-to-rafters Kuisebmond stadium in Walvis-Bay in 1987.
Shockingly, the tallish boy from Omaruru sent shockwaves amongst the Arrows’ faithful when he exchanged the cool breeze of the titanic Atlantic Ocean for the warm weather of the “City of Bright Lights” to join forces with Katutura giants African Stars. Regrettably, though a crowd favourite, his romance with “Starlile” came to an abrupt end. He silently retreated home - only to resurface at Arrows’ eternal rivals “Omeya”.....much to the chagrin of his former club’s diehards.
Koos formed a telepathic partnership with elder brother Striker and the free-scoring Armando Pedro. He was amongst the first pool of talented youngsters picked to represent a democratic Namibia internationally at youth level. Koos earned national colours with the Olympic team.
Johannes Mungunda 1953-2021
The slightly-built speedy right winger was the mainstay of the star-studded Augustineum Secondary School football team’s firing line, alongside fellow southerner Abraham Kukuri and the free-scoring Ace Tjirera. Upon completion of his studies, John joined Katutura giants Black Africa FC, rubbing shoulders with greats such as George Martin, Garab Gariseb, Rusten Mogane, Stu Damaseb and Moms Eiseb. The Mariental-born schoolteacher turned to refereeing after his retirement from playing competitive football, and will surely go down in history as one of the most consistent match officials in the game.
Peter Schweizer 1963-2021
On hindsight, Peter looked like a bloke who could hardly harm a fly, but oh boy!!, the baby-faced Jerry was a menace between the sticks. He will go down in history as one of the finest net-guards the country has ever produced. He kept a clean sheet when the rampant Ramblers humiliated Chief Santos (4-0) in the final of the coveted Mainstay Cup at the old Katutura stadium in 1985. A national league title (1992) gold medallist, Peter is one of only five players to have won the prestigious SA Inter-Provincial Impala Cup twice, alongside Ramblers’ teammate Joseph Martin, Lance Willemse, Capes Nel and Axab Gowaseb.
Rabbie Keister 1971-2021
The much-travelled attacking midfielder-cum-forward was a marvel to watch, terrorising defenders with amazing dribbling skills and darting runs into the opposition’s danger zone.
Though the free-flowing Rabbie enjoyed successful stints with coastal giants Eleven Arrows, youthful Portuguese outfit African Latinos and Ramblers, it was indeed at Katutura giants Orlando Pirates where the nimble-footed attacker came out of his shell.
He announced his arrival on the big stage with eye- catching performances week in and week out......much to the delight of the usually hard-to-please Ghosts’ followers. Rabbie was the mainstay of Pirates’ smoothsailing ship, demonstrating appetising flashes of unbelievable football virtuosity in patches, reminiscent of the Buccaneers’ late blue-eyed boy, the marvellous Norries Goraseb.
Eliah Tjaverua 1958-2021
A product of the Okakarara Technical College (OTC), the hard-tackling tallish centreback started playing competitive football on the dusty fields of Okakarara while a student at the OTC. Though his natural ball skills did not inspire the confidence of the neutral fan, Eliah took no prisoners and dedicated his entire life to boyhood team Life Fighters.
The soft-spoken defender carved himself a slave in the “City of Bright Lights” upon completion of his studies. And though he trained with the “Brave Lions of Judah” on weekdays, his loyalty for ‘Kahirona’ propelled him to rather hit the 244-kilometre road journey up north to his hometown Otjiwarongo every second weekend to represent the team in league outings. Uncles Rudi and Percy also donned the gorgeous purple & white strip of ‘Kahirona’, while distant cousins Zico and Nduki played topflight league football for African Stars and Hungry Lions, respectively. The late Eliah was the elder brother of popular Omurari radio anchor Kapika Tjaverua.