Namibian football is a great deal of gratitude indebted to one of the most astute young football administrators in domestic football, one Ruben 'Bolla' Nangombe, the boy with the golden touch.
It’s against this background that New Era Sport has decided to dedicate today’s edition of our popular weekly sport feature Tales of the Legends to the much-adored Etoshapoort resident, as he relives his solid affection towards the spherical object.
Bro 'Bolla' is not only a noted administrator, but he also played the game, lived it and ate it!
In short, he has seen it all.
The brother certainly ticks all the boxes to be classified as a football legend in the true sense of the word.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Kunene Football League (KFL) ranks amongst the most well-organised leagues in the entire Namibian fragile football setup, if not the finest.
The younger sibling of football great former Golden Bees Football Club midfield kingpin Phillip Bantu Nangombe, Bro ‘Bolla’ was destined to follow in the footsteps of his celebrated brother.
Well, the authentic implementers of the beautiful game of football, the English, sarcastically coined a popular phrase reading as follows verbatim:
“Those who could play the game with a high degree of competence continue doing what they are capable of, whilst those with limited abilities turn their hand to football administration, refereeing, or better still become sports writers.”
The football-crazy Bolla started his journey as a player for boyhood outfit Golden Bees Football Club until his premature retirement from playing competitive football to concentrate fully on administration.
In no time, he cemented himself as one of the most sought-after football administrators in the vastly-populated Kunene region.
He currently occupies the plum position of vice chairman of the KFL, managing and overseeing the delivery and subsequent implementation of the projects and obligations through KFL initiative programmes.
His duties include administrative, marketing and supervision of league affiliates to ensure sound delivery against the desired long-term vision of KFL’s strategy, ultimately to ensure the position of Kunene regional football is well managed.
Bolla also manages all the KFL competition projects, and drives in conjunction with the chairman of the league Marshal Gomeb.
He also oversees the development of an integrated marketing plan for the league.
He keeps an eye on the overall club registration process (both manual & Fifa eConnect) and event-related communication approval process with all club chairpersons, shepherds the project management around both club competitions (league & cup), supervises guests’ programmes (KWFL Bounce Back Super Cup) related to regional football in cooperation with the event manager.
Bolla is also tasked to drive and ensure proper communication and activation of KFL-related rights and obligations within the framework of the business community, and provides management support to the executive committee, including the provision of timely, accurate, and appropriate financial analysis, information and advice to the executive committee, ensuring an up-to-date accurate records of the annual budget.
He produces regular executive reports and minutes, provides daily oversight and guidance to the chairman, and assists respective KFL members in their efforts to upgrade their administrative operations.
Bolla is currently doing research on how to compile a customary basic club administrative mannual for Kunene Football League clubs, whilst assisting with the draft and managing league fixtures for respective football platforms.
His impressive resume includes; being the team manager of the boyhood team Golden Bees Football Club between 1992 and 1996, managing all technical staff and the playing personnel.
He would attend and watch football matches while supporting the club’s scouts.
Bollawas responsible for developing and maintaining a strong relationship with players, kit-men and support staff, and attending meetings between players and the club while executing management tasks and various functions within the club.
His responsibilities also included communicating the product roll-out plans, and ensuring all players fully understood, supported and promoted the brand of Golden Bees Football Club.
Admittedly, Bolla played a proactive role within the team’s overall environment and team gatherings.
He is also a former executive member of the great Omatako Football League between 1993 and 1995, a former chairman of the women’s Far North Division One league between 2000 and 2004, and chief administrative officer of the Golden Bees between 1996 and 2021, where he managed all the day-to-day business of the Etoshapoort based outfit.
Bolla supported the development of the Bees’ marketing priorities to create long and short-term marketing objectives and strategic plan, develop and execute marketing programmes based on the final plan, manage the budget, marketing and provide players and supporting staff with qualitative service to ensure the brand images of Golden Bees Football Club are well represented.
Under his watch, as project coordinator of the annual Namibian Newspaper Youth Cup (which is the biggest youth tourney on the Namibian football calendar) in 2014 and -2015, the Kunene region successfully hosted and won the youth football extravaganza.
Bro Bolla also played an instrumental role in the drafting of the bidding and strategic plan, which was submitted by the retired governor of the great Kunene region Joshua //Hoebeb, to the NFA bidding committee.
The experienced administrator attended all meetings between the two main role players (local and regional council), supervising the stadium upgrading of the town’s run-down sports fields, the Outjo Sport (Etoshapoort) stadiums in a bid to meet the maximum required standards on top of monitoring the renovation of schools hostels programme in the town in cooperation with the regional council planning director.
He was head of the delegation to the NALASRA and SAIMSA Multi-Sports Games between 2010 and 2015, as the designated councillor, and vice-chairperson of the management committee, in the portfolio of sport and recreation.
“It was my duty to supervise all sporting events under the auspices of the council, including football and other sports codes in the national and international arena. I also served as chef de mission for the Outjo local authority at international sporting competitions in the SADC countries, Eswatini (2011), Botswana (2012) and South Africa (2013) at the SAIMSA Multi-Sports Games (Southern Africa Inter-Municipal Sports Association) and NALASRA GAMES (Namibia Local Authorities Sports and Recreation Association),” he said.
As a result of occupying several high-profile portfolios in various sporting disciplines, Bro Bolla gained lots of experience through dealing with different SADC sports administrators on the sporting front.
He amazingly transformed into programme director at the NBC //GOA !HAOB Social Games held in Outjo in 2018, and without an iota of doubt, was one of the biggest social events in the calendar year, which included netball and football as the main sporting event.
He was co-opted for the drawing of fixtures and placement of match officials for 56 teams on two different football fields and for the first time the tournament, was concluded successfully.
A protégé of the revered Petrus Ganeb Secondary School in Uis, Bolla obtained qualifications in the following sequence: Capacity Building Workshop (1990), Leadership Certificate (Level 5) at the African Leadership Institute, CAP Administration Course with Cricket Namibia, Law Reform Workshop under Silas Kishi-Shikumu, Events Planning, Administration and Budgeting by Mathew Haikali, Basic Club Administration under the watch of Timo Tjongarero, Local Authority Management (induction) workshop with the Ministry of Local and Regional Government, Fifa e-Connect (Fifa Online Workshop) by Titus Kunamuene, National Budget Preparatory and NDP-3 Workshop (Ministry of Finance), attended various NFA and ministerial workshops, dealing with day-to-day administrative work of the organisation.
He also attended an Advanced Football Marketing course and created a series of advertisements for various clubs’ tournaments and league services using brochure, programme and poster format, he is an expert in doing marketing through social, print and various radio leadership and coaching experience.
Bro Bolla is a passionate football administrator playing a major role in the past 25+ years in football and sport in general development programmes, served on various football and sports tournaments sub-committee, possesses amazing skills, an unbelievable ability to work in the national and international environment, good with people, outgoing personality, and leads by example.
He also boasts an incredible knack for positively influencing those around him, building a strong relationship with the chief football stakeholders, local and regional council).
He is blessed with damn good interpersonal skills, flawless communication, an astute negotiator, and basic knowledge of radio audio editing software, complemented by 25+ years in football management.
Bolla also boasts relative expertise in Microsoft Office, with vast experience in the following football software: Fifa Natural and persuasive communicator recognised among the football community for his ability to energise and inspire individuals to work towards achieving a common goal; excel in creating consensus among divergent clubs.
The visionary salted football administrator is challenge-driven, with a sound in-depth knowledge of regional and national football.
In addition, he has a proven ability to point out technical and complex issues, both in writing and orally.
He has in-depth knowledge of the Fifa/NFA statutes, and disciplinary code, accumulated a wealth of knowledge at a national level, and can pay close attention to details and be organised.
He boasts strong organisational skills and is good at organisational troubleshooting sources, interpersonal skills and the ability to interact and work with everyone at all levels.