Let me doff my “korrie” for the organizing committee of the Jackson Kotjiuru Meroro fundraising campaign for a job well done.
When my close buddy and former Hungry Lions teammate Billy Tuahepa approached me with a request to host a birthday bash for an ailing Jackson Kotjiuru Meroro for his 60th birthday on the 16th of September 2019 – yours truly immediately bought into the idea of paying tribute in the most dignified fashion to our terminally ill former teammate.
I proposed that we cast the net wide and rather organise something more tangible than just a one-off gathering. We decided to invite his former club African Stars to come on board and forge a joint venture for this historical humanitarian gesture, and as they say, the rest is history.
Various sub-committees were set up dealing with logistics and many other aspects. I will be failing in my duty if I don’t single out local astute football administrator Patrick Kauta, Frank Fredericks, Sandro de Gouveia and the organizing committee chairman Collin Usurua for their generous support. Yours truly could not help but shed a tear or two seeing many former footballers squeezing their ageing frames into the NFA Technical Centre stadium in Katutura last Saturday.
Without a shadow of doubt, the presence of football greats Oscar Mengo, Albert Tjihero, Ndjiva Kauami, Muinjoo Kotjipati, Moripe Muundjua, Frank Fredericks, Kallie Bilhawer, Cosmos Damaseb, Jeff Tjitemisa, Carpio Kauendji, Kandas Poulino, Lance Willemse, Dax Andjamba, Donkey Madjiedt, Steven Hochobeb, Lefa Ndjiruete, Willem Cloete, Kabasa Tjikusere and many others added spice to this wonderful occasion.
The gathering was a match made in heaven, the public came out in large numbers to support a noble cause aimed at assisting a brother in need.
Apart from exhibition football matches – revelers were treated to an appetizing menu of a variety of entertainment, headlined by a live music performance by the popular Sigera Fusion Jazz Band taking revelers down memory lane with cover versions of touchy golden oldies while a traditional concert troupe (Oviritje) put the cherry on the cake to complete a memorable evening.
We have been inundated with calls to establish a mechanism that would assist dozens of athletes currently finding themselves in similar predicaments.
Yours truly will therefore send out a challenge to other clubs or sport institutions to follow suit and establish trust funds for former athletes struggling financially not even knowing where their next meal will come from.
It’s very painful watching former athletes who at some stage of their amazing sporting careers had the world art their feet nowadays struggling to make ends meet.
I’m fully aware of a bunch of former players from a top local football club who have gone astray or rather have sadly fallen in the category of “victims of society”, so to speak. Sadly, this unpleasant episode is not only confined to athletes: lots of musicians have also gone the wrong way and are in dire need of refinement. As it stands, it’s now incumbent upon community leaders to establish proper mechanisms to lift the spirits of our ailing sport heroes and fallen musos. I rest my case.