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‘Balancing football and law studies was not easy’

2021-06-15  Otniel Hembapu

‘Balancing football and law studies was not easy’
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Otniel Hembapu

In a recent interview with South Africa’s leading football magazine Kick Off, retired Brave Warriors captain and renowned lawyer Ronald ‘Stigga’ Ketjijere opened up about the difficulties he endured trying to balance between a flourishing football career and his law studies.

Ketjijere, who started off his football career with Unam FC in the Khomas Second Division and was part of the squad that helped the team gain promotion to the Southern Stream First Division in 2008 before moving on to join forces with African Stars FC in the country’s flagship football league, played in the South African premier league for the University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) between 2012 and 2016.

During his time with AmaTuks, Ketjijere had to bore the pressure of striking a delicate balance between his law studies as a full-time student while also making sure he remained competitive for his club in the highly-demanding South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).

“When I was playing for the University of Pretoria, I was a full-time student at the university as well. There wasn’t any subsidiary of any sort while I was there, and the lecturers were not even aware of those arrangements. You are basically on your own and you make arrangements with regards to notes when you can’t come to class due to training or games. The studies were not linked to the football. I had to do my own plans with regards to the studies while the football club would then also expect you to be attending all their training sessions just like any other player,” reflects Ketjijere, who is widely regarded as the Brave Warriors most successful captain.

Ketjijere, who captained the Brave Warriors to the 2015 Cosafa Cup triumph in South Africa and helped Namibia qualify for her first ever African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2018 in Morocco, is now practising law full-time, as a senior legal officer for government.

Now retired from international football, Ketjijere – who holds the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Pretoria and a B-Juris from the University of Namibia – remains captain of local football giants African Stars FC and equally keeps active by competing on various social football leagues.

“I am now practising law full-time. Currently, I am in the office of the government attorneys, doing civil litigation. We defend the government or institute proceedings on behalf of the government when we want to sue other private entities or individuals that owe government, maybe, money or have breached contracts. So, I am now a civil servant doing my normal daily shifts. I hold an LLB from the University of Pretoria, but I already had a B-Juris from the University of Namibia because I had already been studying at Unam before going to South Africa to play professionally. I then completed my studies at the University of Namibia,” Ketjijere, who left AmaTuks after their relegation to the first division five years ago, explains to KickOff.com.

Boasting about 60 caps for the Brave Warriors, Ketjijere remains one of Namibia’s most capped players and equally remains one of African Stars legendary players, having won both the MTC Premiership and the Leo NFA Cup in the 2009/2010 season. 

He was among the top three contenders shortlisted for the 2011/12 MTC Premiership Players’ Player of the Year Award and also scored a couple of important goals for Stars in the three seasons he played for them.

– Adapted from KickOff.com


2021-06-15  Otniel Hembapu

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