Tears of agony had hardly dried up when death struck the close-knit family of Tigers Sport Club, affectionately known as ‘Ingwenyama’.
Just as the bereaved members of Tigers were coming to terms with the recent passing of former striker Ruby ‘Khumalo’ Komando, one of the teammates from his generation joined him in heaven.
Former Tigers lethal goal poacher Sageus Utini Angala, famously going by the nickname ‘The General’, passed on after losing a long battle from illness. The retired stocky forward died at the Katutura State Hospital last Sunday, where he had been admitted for some days. As has become customary practice, remembering and honouring our sport heroes and heroines in the most dignified fashion, New Era Sport will dedicate today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature, Tales of the Legends, profiling our sport personalities alive and posthumously, to the life of this unheralded goal machine, going by the name of Sageus Utini Angala.
Back in the 1960s and mid-70s, Katutura outfit Tigers Football Club dominated domestic football and was a major force to be reckoned with in the hotly-contested knockout cup tournaments played countrywide.
The team boasted one the best firing lines in the business, spearheaded by the tricky left-footed forward going by the name of Timotheus ‘Times’ Mwetuyela, ably assisted by his equally dangerous teammates in the following sequence: Zebulon Honnie Ochurub, Ferdinand ‘Ferre’ Akwenye, and the slippery fox Heinrich ‘Dakoloh’ Haininga.
The quartet was unplayable and tormented teams at will while playing some attractive one-touch style of football that kept fans on the edge of their seats for the better part of many of their encounters at the compact old Katutura stadium.
Sadly, when Times unexpectedly took a bow from the game of life after a short illness, the team started to crumble with some of the team’s playing personnel fleeing the country into exile to continue the fight for Namibia’s independence, whilst the core of the squad members were also getting a bit long in the tooth.
Although Tigers managed to recruit few talented youngsters from Augustineum High School led by the late bow-legged forward Johannes Pwiro Hangula, Johnny Veiko, Grey Umati, Brown Amwenye, Paulus Scala Shaanika, Sekulu Hipondoka, Kido Fundi Kambangula, Jerry Tobias and few others, the team was not helped by the shock death of another club stalwart, the light-skinned midfield maestro Buriki Vorster, younger brother of Times and elder sibling to Pwiro.
It was not until the unavoidable introduction of highly-gifted youngsters promoted from the team’s second strings. Back in the day, many teams in the domestic topflight league boasted strong second teams and Tigers was no exception.
The team’s second strings had in their stinking-rich armoury the colourful flamboyant tallish centre back, the one and only Ipangena Spagherro ‘Spa’ Shikwambi, Silas Wangaa Nujoma, Abnery Tobias, Shaka Mbako, Dale Stephanus, and the stylish Ouru Booysen, but no one demonstrated amazing football virtuosity than stocky attacker ‘General’ Angala.
The athletically-built boy was your typical old-fashioned centre forward, the kind of goal poacher capable of manufacturing an average tally of 30 + goals per season.
It was not long before his goal-scoring prowess caught the eyes of the club’s top management, who rewarded him with immediate promotion to the first team, where he went on to form a telepathic partnership with the equally dangerous free-scoring Dale Stephanus.
As it turned out, his elevation to the upper level coincided with the unavoidable amalgamation of the mixed-race national league in the then Apartheid South West Africa (SWA) in 1977.
The free-scoring pocket-size forward hit the ground running, banging in goals at will as if the art of goal scoring was going out of fashion.
Whereas he lacked in pace, General was handsomely blessed with a brilliant first touch, dribbling skills second to none, composure in front of goal, and barely missed the slightest of goal scoring chances.
Playing in the same era as a horde of highly-rated strikers in the mould of Sigy Anderson, Jackson Meroro, Croocks Casper, Phello Muatunga, Dawid Snewe, Immanuel Kamuserandu, Selle Auchumeb, Orlando Damaseb, Kandas Paulino, Justice Basson, Axel Patzoldt, Andy Martin and Lance Willemse, was no mean feat, but the peerless Utini stood head and shoulders above his fellow competitors.
Sadly, a combination of miscalculated off-the-field activities, re-directed his eyes off the ball, and ultimately brought an unfortunate premature end to his otherwise promising football career, thus obliging the serial net-rattler to call it quits while still at the pinnacle of his career.
A trusted one club man, ‘General’ will be ushered to his final resting place at the Golgota Cemetery tomorrow morning, befittingly opposite his favourite fortress, the Sam Nujoma stadium in Katutura, to be reunited with the following Tigers FC greatsan Times Mwetuyela, Jabulani Mupuka, Donbaldt Akumani Shipanga, Coloured Kakololo, Dakaloh Haininga, Simon Sisingi Hiskia, Dale Stephanus, Heinrich Mbumbu Ileka, Sackey Ipinge, Fere Akwenye, Stepha Seibeb, Honnie Ochurub, Bollie Kandonga, Sekulu Hipondoka, Pineas Iyambo, Buriki Vorster, Spa Shikwambi, Teenage Iyambo, Vincent ‘Botsotso’ Hermann, Nandos Mbako, Seth Urib, Tives Mbako, Issy Naruseb, Ouru Booysen, Jerry Tobias, Ringo Umati, Six Gariseb, Martin Veiko, Jeff Mbako, Mukurundu Hoveka, Bricks Angula, Forra Nicodemus, Alele Kapule, Scala Shaanika, Tiwi Kaundje, Tommy Akwenye, Tommy ‘Ombuka Joutji’ Schmidt, Zeka Malunga, Bobby Taapopi, Ambrose Simon, Bobby Ekandjo, Pwiro Angula, Alex Kapenaina, Shaka Mbako, Elliot Hiskia, Ngelema Hatuikulipi, Celle Tjivikua, and many others. May their souls continue to rest in eternal peace.
A memorial service will be held at the Macedonia Parish Lutheran Church in Katutura this afternoon at 18h00. The burial will be preceded by a memorial service tomorrow morning at the family residence at Erf 6131, Andreas Kahuati Street, Katutura.