Having closely followed the events of the past almost two weeks, from the passing of the legendary former Brave Warriors coach Seth Boois to the family of the deceased requesting President Hage Geingob to confer hero status on Boois and have him buried at the Heroes Acre, I noticed that Namibia is again being reminded of the urgent need to establish a fully-fledged sports museum and if need be, a sports remembrance site to honour the country’s past and present sporting heroes.
In all honesty, the immense contribution and sacrifices of the late Boois towards the development of Namibian sports, football in particular, is no secret and is there for all to see and read about.
For me, whether president Geingob will be advised by the National Honours Advisory Committee to grant the late Boois hero status and a burial at the Heroes Acre or not remains a secondary issue, what is of primary importance and a great concern to me is the fact that Namibia, 30 years after independence, still has no standing sports museum or a national sports remembrance day to honour and pay tribute to our past and present sports heroes.
When one speaks of the likes of the now departed Boois, the late charismatic Quinton-Steele Botes, the late great Piet du Plooy and many other departed towering sports figures (athletes and administrators) who played a massive role in the shaping the destiny of Namibian sports, I always ask the question where and when will future generations of athletes and ordinary Namibians get to remember these heroes of the past?
Because there is simply no platform for such, no sports museum, no national sports day or national sports remembrance site, nothing!!
And speaking of the present, where and when will present and future generations of athletes and ordinary Namibians get to pay homage to living legends such as Frank Fredericks, Harry Simon, Nestor Tobias, Paulus “The Hitman” Moses”, Paulus “the Rock” Ambunda, Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo, Ricardo Mannetti, Elifas Shivute, Collin Bejnamin, Razundara Tjikuzu, Rusten Mogane, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, Luketz Swartbooi, Monica Dahl and Tuihaleni Kayele among many others?
Thirty years after Namibia gained her hard-fought independence from apartheid South Africa, as a country we still don’t have a standing sports museum where all the success stories and all major achievements of past and present Namibian athletes can be preserved for future generations.
Former sports minister Erastus Uutoni promised Namibians that before he vacates office, a sports museum would be standing and a stature of the legendary Frank Fredericks will be erected at the Independence stadium to honour the living great sprinter. To date, no visible sports museum is standing and no stature of Frank Fredericks can be seen at the Independence stadium.
Other countries such as South Africa and many others have taken notice of the importance and benefits of a national sports museum and they are now doing wonders in that space. What are we as a country waiting for? Is it a lack of resources or lack of human capital? Or are those tasked with putting up such institutions waiting for Covid-19 to wind down so that they can score big on S&T by taking a trip to neighbouring countries to “see how others are doing it”? Namibia is in dire need of a sports museum, a national sports day and national sports remembrance site for our past and present sports heroes.
Until next time, sharp sharp!!