• December 3rd, 2020

Johannes Hoko ‘Codesa’ Kasibu tells his story



Like many of his peers in the neighbourhood, Kasibu’s football career took off in the late 80’s at the famously known compact Ellis Park field adjacent to Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School holed up in Namibia’s largest residential area Katutura.
The gangling forward found himself in the good company of highly gifted young footballers led by Mabos Ortman, Lolo Goraseb, Riaan “Doctor” Fredericks and Harol Hans, amongst others. In those years, the rivalry between old foes Black Africa and Pirates was intense and spiralled to the junior teams with Young Pirates and Young Black Africa impersonating their seniors.
The compact Ellis Park gravel field was the Mecca of youth football and it was a great honour for every young footballer to grace the field in an effort to showcase their skills and God-given talent,

 

Just shortly after Namibia gained her long awaited democracy from Apartheid South Africa in 1990, the football-crazy young Kasibu started playing competitive football for the school’s under 16 team and just over a year later, he was a regular starter for the Khomas regional under 20 team.

It so happened that division two campaigners Eastern Jumpers Football Club, at the time on an aggressive rebuilding process, approached Kasibu to join forces with the orange and white strip outfit his boyhood buddy Laurentius Oubaas “Boere” Mokoena was also instrumental in him joining.
Without hesitation, the fast-galloping forward found himself in unfamiliar territory in a Jumpers side comprising many youngsters in the mould of Kondjeni Tjilale, Thlaban Lebby and a few others.

Unfortunately, his lodging was curtailed as a result of work commitments and Kasibu decided to leave the team. 
“Later my good buddy Albie ‘Mabeka’ Diergaardt was recruited to join us. At Jumpers, we had in almost every position two or three good players vying for starting berths, but eish ... team selection was always a headache for coach Striker Makgone, a club stalwart and strict disciplinarian. I started out as an attacking midfielder, slotting in just behind the strikers and in my debut match in Rehoboth I managed to register my name on the scoreboard with no less than six goals in one weekend (Saturday and Sunday),” recalls the man also popularly known as “Codesa”.

The team was so good that in the same season they could field two separate teams. When Jumpers saw off elder brother Black Africa, the pair of Codesa and Oubaas were grounded by coach Makgone. 
The youngsters went to Rehoboth for a knockout cup tournament with Jumpers second strings and won the tourney in 1992 .The team also came very close to gaining promotion to the breakaway elite topflight football league (NPL) but stumbled at the last hurdle against neighbours Tigers FC. 

When the new season got off in 1993, Codesa’s initial plan was to stay put with Jumpers and help the team gain promotion to the top tier league but he eventually got his head twisted after coming into contact with some of his teammates and opponents while playing in an exhibition match at Ellis Park.

“It was during the festive season that we would engage in the customary holiday tournaments. Our ‘Dream Team’ boasted the likes of Oubaas Mokoena, Tiger Goagoseb, Harold Kaunozondunge, Doctor Fredericks, Harol Hans, Norries Goraseb, and late Angelo Fredericks of Try Again FC, Baracks Fernando Redondo Danster, Davos Elago, Mari Davids, Page Ananias, Dixie Kariko Jr and Albie ‘Mabeka’ Diergaardt.” 
“It was at that juncture that Hoko asked Tiger Goagoseb how the set-up at his team (Civics) was like and his precise words to him were: ‘Without doubt, with the talent you possess, you will walk easily into the starting line-up without having to shed an ounce of sweat’,” he added.
At the time, the youthful Civilians had just amalgamated with Khomasdal rivals Arsenal – a good mixture of young and experienced players were assembled. Aged just 19, Codesa decided to give it a go and joined the Civilians. 
“It was not easy to be in the starting eleven as there was already a solid unit, spearheaded by mercurial midfielder Brian Isaacs, who doubled as player coach. He (Isaacs) demanded 110% at every training session and during games but the good thing is I came from a similar environment under coach Makgone.”

When he finally got his chance, Codesa hit the ground running and started bagging in goals as if the art of goal scoring was going out of fashion. In no time, opposition teams started to take note of the lanky forward’s presence. 
“I was scoring and also provided plenty of goal-scoring chances for my teammates. In my debut season in the topflight league, I was the highest goal-scoring midfielder among all the midfielders at Civics. Nonetheless, Civics became a major force to be reckoned with and many teams started to take us seriously.” 

In 1995, the youthful Civilians won their first major trophy beating Liverpool (Okahandja) in the final and came very close again in 1996 but lost in the same competition against coastal giants Blue Waters.
Such was Codesa’s impressive performance that he was called up to the Brave Warriors side in 1996. He made his international debut for the Warriors against Botswana away in Gaborone. In 1997, he developed itchy feet and abandoned the Civilians’ ship, only to resurface at another boyhood team Black Africa. “It was always a childhood dream to play for the Gemengde outfit.”

Codesa walked straight into the BA starting line-up and just as he started to settle in with his new teammates and on the verge of winning silverware, tragedy struck as he sustained a very nasty potential career-ending knee injury, which sidelined him for almost four years.
Upon recovery, Codesa almost walked away from competitive football but resolved to give it another try. He joined exciting Khomasdal outfit Young Ones. Sadly, the Kings at Night were in a rebuilding process.

“I kept pushing myself and somehow managed to regain my form. We had to bring in new players but under the shrewd stewardship of former club defender Harold von Luttichau, the Kings at Night rediscovered their mojo and were a force to be reckoned with.”
However, in the 2001/2002 season, Young Ones stumbled on the home straight, suffering losses in the league and NFA Cup. Codesa retreated to Black Africa after just one season with the Kings at Night, but his second homecoming only lasted six months.
“I was pondering quitting football in the 2002/2003 term but out of the blue, here come Tigers and if you asked me how I joined Ingwe, it was not exactly a pleasant episode ... (laughs). I was at home relaxing on a cool Saturday morning when Kelly Asser and Oubaas rocked up unannounced requesting me to come and play for Tigers.

“My buddy Oubaas told me boldly ... ‘You are now a Tigers player’ but I protested saying that I was still on the books of Black Africa and had not been training with the team for almost two weeks as I wanted to retire.”
Without putting in any training session with “Ingwe”, Codesa was right away thrown into action and played the full 90 minutes in a league match against Liverpool. The debutant ended on the winning side as Tigers dispatched the Nau-Aib outfit by five unanswered goals.
“That same year, ‘Ingwe’ were unstoppable and I’m really thankful to Kelly for bringing me back to where I could be happy playing football. In 2003, we reached the NFA Cup final but sadly lost 4-2 to Civics though I scored but could not turn it in our favour.” Codesa retired aged 29.
“The way things have currently unfolded in the corridors of domestic football, it’s very painful and I hope those entrusted to administer the beautiful game find an amicable positive solution for football to return to normality.”
Codesa singles out two prominent footballers Bobby Samaria (Eleven Arrows /Black Africa) and Congo Hindjou Liverpool/Civics/African Stars as the most dangerous opponents he has ever played against. 

“At Civics, I had the privilege to rub shoulders with Harold Kaunozondunge, Mandla Gamatham, Sputla Masite, Golla van Staden, Pele Isaacs, Tiger Goagoseb, Rex English, Mac Camm, Flamero Jansen and Mabos Ortman.  
During his somewhat abbreviated stint with the national senior football team, Codesa fought hard for a starting berth with young players that were just promoted from the under 20 side and the Olympic teams. 

“Up to this day, I’m yet to witness a local footballer who can read the game better than Oubaas Mokoena. It was unfortunate that the two of us did not manage enough time together in the same team, but I guess things do happen for a reason,” concludes Codesa.


Carlos Kambaekwa
2020-10-30 09:03:37 | 1 months ago

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