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In conversation with the garden town’s prolific son Michael Migub Noabeb

2024-03-15  Carlos Kambaekwa

In conversation with the garden town’s prolific son Michael Migub Noabeb

THE sacred garden town of Okahandja has over the years unearthed a significant number of great personalities of remarkable pedigree in various fields, professionally, politically and socially.

Those that spring to mind are: Larney Gariseb, Oscar Mengo, Helmut Rapmund, Doc Hardley, Doc Naobeb, Bomber Schultz, George Gariseb, Piet Bohmker, Kiro Makati, Axali Doeseb, Gotty Geiseb, Japhta Noabeb, Louis Prinsloo, Elibe Gariseb, Jossie Haoseb, Baby Doeseb, Ace Tjirera, Digub Haufiku, Kai-Kai Vekarapi, Ouman Gertze, Albert Tjihero, Hassie Mingeri, Harry Garos-aob, Jessie Diergaardt, Congo Hindjou, Richard Gariseb, Bimbo Tjihero, and astute fearless youthful political analyst Nandi Mazeingo, amongst a galaxy of super stars from that neck of the woods. 

One of the town’s most unsung heroes is none other than the much-travelled former Battle Boys Football Club speedy attacker Michael Migub Noabeb. After numerous failed attempts to trace the retired lethal goal poacher, New Era Sport finally cornered the slippery forward.

Nowadays, a well-established and recognised resident of Reitz in the Free State, South Africa, Noabeb happily relives his amazing untold sporting journey that saw him terrorise robust defenders at will with sheer speed on the football field while also showing his competitors a clean pair of heels in the hotly contested short sprints on the athletic track. 



Nowadays, living peacefully in Reitz, a relatively small maize, wheat and cattle farming town tucked in the east of the Free State Province of South Africa, with a population of just about 20 000 inhabitants, Migub has found a new home far away from his original habitat. The now-retired speedster is happily hitched to his beautiful South African love, Tsidi Mokwena-Noabes. The couple has no children.

Born Michael Migub Noabeb on 10 June 1956, in Okahandja, South West Africa (SWA), Mike is a proud product of the revered Aurora Primary School for Bantus. A highly gifted multitalented athlete, Noabeb showed glimpses of greatness as a youngster barely out of his pair of shorts. He excelled in the short sprints during the hotly contested inter-school athletic meetings.

He was a mean sprinter who showed his competitors a clean pair of heels in the 100, 200, and 400-metre sprints, competing fiercely against homeboy Harry Garos-Aob in the short sprints. However, it was on the football field that the lanky striker demonstrated talent belying his tender age and scoring goals at will, as if the art of goal scoring was going out of fashion. Apart from playing for the school’s first team alongside other greats, Noabeb only rose to prominence after teaming up with fellow youngsters from the garden town to form the youthful Battle Boys Football Club. He formed a telepathic partnership with the devastating Haosemab twins Peter and Paul in the firing line.

Many teams dreaded coming face-to-face with the exciting youthful outfit from Nau-Aib. A prolific net-buster blessed with a brilliant first touch, amazing dribbling skills, and a breathtaking pace complemented by an educated right foot, Noabeb was your typical old-fashioned centre forward, scoring an avalanche of match-winning goals from tight angles.

He was a real beast and never gave defenders a chance. The likes of robust defenders Ou Khai-aob Namubeb, Binga Kairikove, Maatu Tjenda, and Meester Tukuru Katuzesirauina had their hands full trying to contain the speedy attacker.

Noabeb was a founding member of Battle Boys alongside boyhood buddies Ishmael ‘Zambia’ Khoeseb, Lemmy Goagoseb, McCarthy Doeseb, Christy Hardley, Takoeza Uirab, Steve Naobeb, John Haoseb, and the ever-present lanky football crazy big frame Petrus ‘SWA’ Gertze. The team adopted the famous black and white colours of the big brother, the Orlando Pirates, and immediately won the hearts of local football fans with their attractive style of play.

The new kid on the block went full throttle to bring an end to the dominance of old-time campaigners Black Beauty Chiefs (BBC), Spoilers, and Magic Tigers Football Clubs. Back in the day, there were no proper league structures in place, though their cross-town counterparts, the Okahandja Mannschaft, competed without any hindrance in the well-oiled national football league for whites only.

This obligated the quartet of Nau-Aib representatives to engage in mini-exhibition matches on weekends, exchanging opponents on Sunday, in between the odd friendly game against visiting teams from the capital (Windhoek).

In the meantime, Noabeb’s exploits did not go unnoticed, as he was invited for trails to the South West Africa (SWA) Currie Cup mixed race team alongside teammates Zambia Khoeseb and Lemmy Goagoseb. Having won every silverware there was to win in the unofficial but popular knockout cup tournaments staged in towns such as Karibib, Khorixas, Omaruru, Outjo, Otjiwarongo, and Arandis, it was time for a new challenge.

Noabeb relocated to the booming mining town of Arandis in search of greener pastures. He teamed up with other enthusiastic young footies who have descended on the new uranium mining hub to form Kaizer Chiefs Football Club.

The speedy attacker also had stints with Kuisebmund outfit Namib Woestyn and Katutura giants Orlando Pirates Football Clubs, but it was at Tigers that he announced his arrival on the big stage with a flurry of breathtaking goals and jaw-dropping speed that left many defenders gasping for breath.

His well-taken goals propelled ‘Ingwe’ to the final of the lucrative annual Dave’s Furnishers Knockout Cup, only to stumble against bitter rivals Blue Waters in the 1976 and 1978 editions. On the athletic track, Noabeb will be best remembered for his rivalry with Gobabis-born Tinus Maree in the energy-sapping 400-metre race during the hotly contested Inter-Mines Multi Sport Games.

He also guided several upcoming athletes at the revered Rossing Uranium Sport Club. Some of his celebrated proteges were Namibia’s internationally acclaimed sprinter Frank Fredericks, Abraham Soabeb, Patrick Basson, Lucky Gawanab, and a few highly gifted upcoming athletes navigating the youngsters through the ropes about the finer tricks of the trade.

2024-03-15  Carlos Kambaekwa

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