There is an old saying that death is a weird part of life but truth be told, without death, human beings cannot appreciate life to the fullest. Nonetheless, death is the most painful experience in life and it’s never going to be easy to bid farewell to our loved ones, notably when that goodbye is for good.
Another dark cloud has befallen Namibian football trendsetters Tigers Sport Club, following the sudden departure of former midfielder Gerson //Gowaseb, famously known as the ‘Wizard’ amongst his teammates and hundreds of admirers in the football fraternity. The easy-going retired lanky dribbling wizard has transitioned to eternity after losing a long battle with illness to be reunited with his ancestors. //Gowaseb’s death follows short on the heels of other prominent members from the close-knit family of ‘Ingwe’, in the following sequence: club stalwart Johnny Akwenye, veteran forward Ruben Rubby ‘Khumalo’ Kommando, and free-scoring goal poacher Sageus ‘General’ Angala. May their souls continue to rest in eternal peace. As has become customary practice, New Era Sport will pay tribute to unsung football genius Gerson // Gowaseb, in the most possible dignified fashion deserving a national hero. May his gentle soul rest easy.
Younger brother of the football-playing siblings Mannfredt Uxamb and Zedecias Axab //Gowaseb, young Gerson was born in Windhoek on 23 August 1971. The highly-gifted lanky midfielder honed his God-given football skills at the nearby Ellis Park compact football field during the hotly-contested games on weekends.
Interestingly, his old man Zedecia ‘Ou Bles’ Uxamb, a salted police officer, was a staunch supporter of Orlando Pirates, whilst elder brothers Mannfredt, and Axab wore the black and white strip of the Buccaneers with pride at different intervals.
However, Gerson defied family tradition and instead joined Tigers, where he established himself as one of the club’s most valuable assets during his tenure.
A phenomenal baller, blessed with a jaw-dropping first touch, amazing dribbling skills, and unbelievable ability to open tight defences with his traditional defence-splitting passes, the ‘Wizard’ had all the required ingredients of a complete footballer.
He formed the spine of Ingwe’s smooth sailing engine room, alongside the equally-talented midfield pair of Teenage Iyambo, and the ever-present Alele Kapule. On his day, the tallish midfielder was unplayable and many defenders dreaded coming face-to-face with Gerson.
Tigers’ main target man Foresta Nicodemus benefitted handsomely from his delicious through-balls, scoring an avalanche of goals in return.
During his somewhat short-lived tenure as chief conductor in Ingwe’s flawless engine room, Gerson won the hearts of many football followers across the Land of the Brave, including the hard-core neutrals, with his breathtaking ball wizardly.
A damn quick thinker, what he lacked in mobility was made up with pure football intelligence as he could see things on the playing field that others were unable to spot.
Gerson was the epitome of football artistry par excellence. Without a shadow of a doubt, he was the master of the short passing game, and could easily turn the game in his team’s favour with one moment of individual brilliance with his calculated killer passes from any range without having to shed an ounce of sweat.
The likeable midfield kingpin made playing football look so easy – almost like taking candy from an unsuspecting toddler. And who will ever forget those nail-biting midfield battles between Tigers and Orlando Pirates, pitting the two brothers Gerson and Axab against each other – both boasting similar playing styles.
Younger brother Gerson
always came out tops against his big brothers. The departed midfielder represented his native land with great aplomb at youth level, but for some strange reason never really reached his full potential.
He silently disappeared from the game whilst still growing into one of the most sought-after midfielders of his generation, showing flashes of massive talent in store.
Though he did not stay long enough with the exciting youthful Donkerhoek outfit to attain the full status of club legend, the silky playmaker certainly left behind
unforgettable marks for his role in the team’s progression.
Tellingly, Gerson was obligated to vacate the well-oiled Ingwe’s cage after he received a lucrative job offer from the Consolidated Diamond Mines of Namibia (CDM), which was later reformed as Namdeb Diamond Corp in 1994, after Namibia’s independence in 1990.
Regrettably, external forces, punctuated by the evils of society, abruptly curtailed his progress. The adorable lanky midfielder quit playing competitive football whilst still at the pinnacle of an otherwise promising football career, proudly tailing in the footsteps of elder brother Axab ‘The General’.
The latter set the domestic football scene alight as an emerging young midfielder with flawless displays during his lodging with giant killers Sorento Bucs, before changing allegiance to boyhood team Orlando Pirates, where he enjoyed hero status until his retirement.
As it stands, Namibia has produced a significant number of football-playing brothers but none stood the test of times like the Francis siblings - Richo and Tiger (Chelsea) - tailed by Phello and Koko Muatunga (Blue Waters), Juku Tjazuko, and Nico Hindjou (African Stars), Sadike and Sparks Gottlieb (Eleven Arrows), Brian Isaacs and Dicky Akwenye (Civics/ BA/Tigers), Hasso and Uwe Ahrens (Windhoek City), and lest we forget, the terrible Haosemab twins - Peter and Paul (Robber Chanties). Well, the just-departed Gerson, and his brother Axab //Gowaseb, should be in that conversation...Period!