• August 5th, 2020

Meet the Duke of Kuisebmond - Josephat ‘Nghenny’ Emvula

The harbour town of Walvis Bay on the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, has in the past produced a sizeable number of great athletes, some of whom have gone onto become household names in domestic football.
Back in the day, the town boasted some of the finest football teams in the business, spearheaded by exciting Portuguese outfit Sparta, Blue Waters, Namib Woestyn, Atlantis, Eleven Arrows and Explorer Eleven, to name but a few.
However, the bulk of the aforementioned football entities have since gone the way of all flesh with only bitter rivals Arrows and the Birds still going strong. The pair of coastal giants have been trading blows ever since time memorial, exchanging township bragging rights at regular intervals.

One man who has been at the centre of those battles is none other than Arrows’ strongly built skillful defensive kingpin Josephat ‘Nghenny’ Emvula. He was the mastermind when ‘Elile’ saw off their more fancied opponents in the live televised JPS Cup final at the packed to rafters Kuisebmond stadium in 1987.
New Era Sport managed to track down the much adored multi talented overlapping fullback as he unzips his astonishing sporting journey.


Born in Walvis Bay on the 27th of August 1968, young Nghenny started chasing an inflated piece of leather with low key local teams Amazulu Boys and Swallows Football Clubs alongside boyhood buddy   Sono Shivute and the football crazy Luanda siblings at the tender age of 12.
Aged 14, Nghenny was lured to Eleven Arrows’2nd strings by his trusted classmate Mabele Nehoya before the latter jumped ship to join forces with newly formed Super Stars FC.  

In the meantime, he would take pleasure in trading leather in the boxing rings as a promising amateur boxer with his celebrated cousin Harry “The Terminator” Simon, Sacky Shivute, his two brothers Hendrik and Samuel, Ben ‘Drikies’ Louw. Nghenny and Drikies would go onto earn junior SWA (Zebra) provincial colours.   
On the football pitch, “Genny” shifted between the goalposts for  Arrows’ second strings in a squad boasting the likes of Bobby Samaria, Koos Muaine, Homebla Shilongo, incumbent Namibia Football Association {NFA} honcho Ranga Haikali and the late Abram “Briem” Gottlieb.
He was later converted to a defender before he was promoted to the first team together with Samaria, Muaine and Gottlieb, in 1968 and as they say, the rest is history. In the same year, “Nghenny” represented his motherland at provincial level in the boxing discipline in the under-17 age group.  

In the meantime, “Genny” was having his hands full juggling between boxing and football where his uncle and trough disciplinarian Tara Shimubulu, former Arrows’ defender, took him under his wing. 
He joined senior squad members, brothers Sadike and Sparks Gottlieb, Connie Samaria, Ben Gonteb and the ever present “never say no” the late Merino Muvangwa, aka “Kaptein Duiwel”.

When Namibia finally gained her long awaited democracy in 1990, “Nghenny” was deservedly thrown into the mix of things and was in the starting lineup of the first ever football to represent a free Namibia.
Amongst his teammates in that historic match were; Foresta Nicodemus, Milla Gertze, Steven Damaseb, Brian Greaves, Duban Benson, Bricks Angula Eric Quest, Lovey Uushona, Doc Noamab and Arrows’ teammate Sparks Gottlieb.  
The strongly built fullback, aka “Omtot or Katosa”, was a gold medalllst Arrows clinched the inaugural  edition of the national premier league title with a little bit of help from his cousin Ronnie Masilo, Stakes Louw, Eliphas Shivute, Ronnie Kanalelo and Kondjeni Tjilale. 
“I always modeled my game on the Brazilian legend and Real Madrid overlapping fullback Roberto Carlos but to do that perfectly, one has to put in extra training. Well, I managed to execute few overlaps quite well and it always helped the team because the opponents did not know who where our real danger man.

“You know what, we had this funny goalkeeper, Dahle “Omzala” Mutilifa and whenever we played Blue Waters, we would call him “safe pair of hands”. He was well mentored by fellow shot stopper, my great buddy Mokanya “Sparkiso” Gottlieb. 
In contrast, quite often, “Nghenny” and some of his naughty teammates would break the team’s curfew during camping, only to return at 3 o’clock in the wee hours of the morning. 

“Eish...when club officials confront us about our wayward behaviour, my response was simple “you told us to camp and never told us not to drink and anyway, there is still plenty of time before the match kick off”. 
He formed a deadly combination with Lucky “Wire” Shipanga and the stylish South African import Sheya Mwelasi, on the left side. “I also enjoyed playing alongside Kiki Gaseb and Pule Gowaseb, those two “toppies” were full of humour and would always ask me...”what’s the difference between red and maroon?.   

When Arrows were relegated the 1996 campaign, he relocated to Windhoek and joined Tigers, on a season long loan playing alongside Oubaas Mokwena, Stroh Naruseb, Allu  Hailonga, amongst his new teammates. 
“I really enjoyed my football at Tigers, they had a very good well balanced team with amazing fighting spirit but my team Arrows bounced back at the first attempt, I rejoined the mighty ‘Elele’.”

While working for Rössing Uranium mine in Arandis,”Nghenny” played for the star-studded mine team and won the prestigious biannual Chamber of Mines Cup in Oranjemund in 1990.  

He later left for CDM, nowadays known as Namdeb where he was to be reunited with former Arrows teammate Safile Shivute, Steven Damaseb, Lucky Boostander and Clarence Titus. The team clinched the coveted trophy in Tsumeb, 1992. 
“Nghenny” has also represented the Western Invitational Eleven against Russian giants Spartak Moscow, to mark Namibia’s maiden Independence celebrations in 1990. The seasiders lost 3-5. 

Though independence came a bit late, he managed a get couple of matches under his belt for the Brave Warriors, mentoring upcoming youngsters that included Slice Ouseb, Lolo Goraseb, Ricardo Manneti, Namene Philemon, Page Ananias and the late Sylvester Njambari during the Warriors continental escapades in Madagascar, Mali, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, respectively.   
As vibrant young boys coming from disadvantaged communities,” Nghenny” and his cousin Harry Simon,  were obliged to find odds jobs as golf caddies also doubling as newspaper vendors for the Namib Times to supplement their meager pocket money. 
At times, he would team up with close buddy Sam Shikuyele, to engage in domestic shores for white couples on Saturday’s before heading to the golf course.     

Like father, like son, Nghenny’s equally talented son, Inno “Zungu” Emvula, currently turns out for boyhood team Arrows and is one of the most outstanding performers in the youthful outfit. The young midfielder also plays for his employers’ team Swakop Uranium team.
“Zungu” travelled to Brazil last year for the prestigious Neymar Cup where his team finished 3rd overall in the competition. “Nghenny” works for Debmarine Namibia as a Process Controller for the “last 17 years. 

Carlos Kambaekwa
2020-04-30 09:57:16 | 3 months ago

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