A dark cloud has befallen the coastal town of Swakopmund and the entire Namibian rugby fraternity following the sad passing of former national youth rugby backline Cedric Haraseb.
The latter tragically lost his precious life when the vehicle which he was travelling in overturned on the notorious B2 stretch linking Usakos to Arandis, killing him instantly on Tuesday, 5 July 2022. He was 32 years of age.
Though he comes from a prominently football-crazy family, young Cedric defied the clan’s old tradition and rather chose to chase the oval ball in preference to the beautiful game, a decision that ultimately paid off handsomely as he went on to become one of the finest talents to have ever emerged from that neck of the woods.
In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature Tales of the Legends, profiling and delving into the lives, experiences and untold journeys of former athletes, present and posthumously, New Era Sport pays a dignified tribute to the young rugby icon. May his soul rest well.
Born in Windhoek on 2 August 1989 and raised in Swakopmund, the late Cedric Dalton Haraseb was a former Namibian Craven Week backline, who was part of the national youth team at the IRB Junior World Championship Trophy tourney.
He also represented the strong Namibian Barbarians against the Welwitschias in 2017. Despite his fairly young age, the departed Haraseb played a significant part in the important role that sport played and helped to unify a previously split nation in the aftermath of divisiveness, systematically orchestrated by the notorious South African apartheid regime.
A proud product of Mondesa, a predominantly residential area specifically tailored to house native Bantus (blacks) back in the day, the young Haraseb changed the mindset of those with misplaced perceptions about black people invading a previously sacred sporting discipline which was reserved for the minority in its immediate surroundings.
An academic par excellence, after completing his elementary school, Haraseb enrolled at the revered Swakopmund Secondary School. It was here that he was inevitably introduced to the physicality of rugby, and never looked back ever since as he went on to establish himself as one of the most outstanding young rugby players from his era. The young outside centre was duly selected to represent his motherland at the prestigious South African Inter-Provincial Craven Week U/18 Youth Rugby Tournament, hosted by the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch in 2007.
Tellingly, his impressive displays during the youth tourney earned him a well-deserved call-up to the national youth team’s participation in the more glamorous IRB World Rugby Trophy. Upon completing his secondary school, he joined forces with the town’s leading team Dolphins Rugby Club, winning the coveted NRU division one league title in 2011.
Ambitious Khomasdal outfit FNB Western Suburbs came knocking on the door for his signature, dangling a juicy carrot in his baby face. They managed to convince the quick-feet centre to exchange the freezing weather of the giant Atlantic Ocean for life in the fast lane in the comfort of the city of bright lights (Windhoek).
A serial winner, Haraseb’s consistency and eye-catching impressive performances propelled the ambitious green and white strip Khomasdal outfit to clinch the coveted league title in only his debut season with the club. And to crown an outstanding season, the versatile backline, who was equally home on the wings, ended the season with the top accolade of winning the club’s top points’ scorer award.
However, he could no longer resists the urge for the daily cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean and resolved to retreat down sea level, only to resurface in the harbour town of Walvis Bay. He joined forces with the town’s leading team Walvis Bay Rugby Club, and as they say, the rest is history.
As it turned out, Haraseb played a pivotal role in helping his new team reach the semi-finals of the hotly-contested NRU Premier league title race. However, a serial bird of passage, his whirlwind romance with Walvis Bay Rugby Club came to an abrupt end when he left to rejoin former team Dolphins in his hometown Swakopmund.
Tellingly, Haraseb developed itchy feet for the umpteenth time and jumped ship to join bitter rivals Kudus Rugby Club, where he played on a social basis whenever time permitted until the fateful day of his untimely, sad departure. Meanwhile, messages of condolences continue pouring in from all sectors of society to comfort the bereaved family and close friends, with former club FNB Western Suburbs writing on their website: “Psalms 34:18; The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. May you be comforted during this difficult time, Dearest Cedric Haraseb, May your soul rest in eternal peace.”
“RIP Cadaz, we shared a lot of great memories at school on and off the field...will never forget our first national call-up to Humansdorp, Port Elizabeth. We subsequently became brothers from that particular tour. The news of your untimely departure came as a shock to me. I’m praying for your old lady (mother) and baby sister for strength. Go well my friend, much-loved,” reads a message from former teammate Oliver Strauss.
“You were my brother, one of the best people to have ever crossed my path. The Lord knows the hit differently, so deeply loved. You are now our Guardian Angel, watching us from above. Fly high my brother. Sade Bock. Gone too soon,” said Ricardo Brandt.
Richard Kebak Oosthuizen also wrote, saying: “What a gifted athlete and likeable person, gone too soon, as with the current crop of young sportsmen and community personalities, leaving us at an alarming pace. RIP Cedric, and our deepest condolences to the bereaved family.”
Haraseb’s shock death follows short on the heels of other prominent local rugby personalities in the following sequence: Oom Neels Dodds, Niken ‘Zaza’ Cloete, Wardo Nell (FNB Wanderers) and the strongly-built flanker Cameron McNab (FNB Rehoboth Rugby Club). May their soul rest in power, collectively.