New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Remembering forgotten football playing ‘vet’ Dr Siegfried Tjaatako Tjijorokisa, 1939–1989

Remembering forgotten football playing ‘vet’ Dr Siegfried Tjaatako Tjijorokisa, 1939–1989

2023-10-27  Carlos Kambaekwa

Remembering forgotten football playing ‘vet’ Dr Siegfried Tjaatako Tjijorokisa, 1939–1989

History reveals that Katutura glamour football club African Stars was birthed by an enthusiastic group of young men of OvaHerero/Ovambanderu descent in desperate search of challenging the dominance of rival teams such as Tigers and Cape Cross Football Clubs at Windhoek’s old location in 1952.

The trio of Wash-Away, Juvenile, and Young Standard Football Clubs resolved to amalgamate in a carefully thought-out systematic effort to form one strong team that would represent the OvaHerero folks and the Ovambanderu sub-ethnic group with a certain measure of ethnic pride, to put it bluntly.

A significant chunk of the playing personnel were a mixture of bookish blokes and steadfast men of good standing in the OvaHerero and Ovambanderu communities during the height of racial segregation and tribal separation defined by the puke-inducing divide and rule State policy.

Mindful of the challenging dilemma of inadequate recreational facilities and obviously not escaping the authorities’ bad attitude towards the overall welfare of indigenous Namibians, the much despised Bantu folks (blacks) found a way of escaping their frustrations fuelled by the apartheid system that denied blacks the right to live a normal life.

The wide awake streetwise residents of Windhoek’s old location would freely engage in extramural activities by playing the beautiful game of football whenever tile permitted.

Usually operating as the designated playmaker in the middle of the park, the left-footed attacker, who previously played club football for Young Standard, was a menace to many opposing defenders with his mazing dribbling skills and unbelievable football artistry. He was always at the heart of the Reds’ attack, supplying killer passes to the goal hungry forward line.

Shockingly, Tjaatako was among a significant number of African Stars finest who defected to join the newly formed Khomasdal/Katutura star-studded combined outfit Explorer Eleven, aka ‘Ovispoele’ in 1962.

A sextet of African Stars stalwarts jumped ship to find refuge with the new kid on the block. Other prominent defectors were Cleophas Siseva ‘Danger’ Siririka, George Kanima Hoveka, Floyd Kamaarijanda Maharero, and the football-playing Kariko siblings Joel and Dixie.

The newly established went on the rampage, beating their opponents left, right, and centre with rugby and cricket scores until the clearly out of sorts opponents decided to dig their heels in the sand, refusing to point blankly to be further exposed to such inhuman embarrassments.

Running out of decently willing opponents, the team was obligated to close shop, with many of the playing personnel returning to their former teams. However, the cool as a cucumber smart Tjaatako joined an exodus of young men who decided enough was enough with racial discrimination and skipped their motherland, going into exile to further their academic aspirations abroad.

The visionary footie wasted little time and knuckled down to some serious business, admirably pursuing a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the revered Utrecht University, Netherlands, which he effortlessly obtained with flying colours.

The bookish ‘vet’ returned home in 1978 with his spouse and pair of young, beautiful daughters, Noko and Sigrid, and worked for the State veterinary department until his untimely death in 1989. May his gentle soul continue to rest in eternal peace. A great man of substance, the always-easy going, immaculately dressed, likeable noted ‘vet’ was the proudly old man of four beautiful daughters in the following sequence:

Vicky Kejarukua, Tjikaa, Noko, and Sigrid Tjijorokisa. Sadly, Noko’s precious life was tragically cut short in a horrific road accident while still at the prime of her promising pathway. The latter was hitched to local prominent legal guru Advocate Johannes Fonnie Karuaihe, aka ‘Bro Fokes’, who coincidentally also suffered the same fate as his beautiful spouse.

The Karuaihe clan has, over the years, had an amazing close relationship with African Stars Football Club, supporting the team in kind with playing gear and transportation during the dark days of apartheid. Blood cousins Mike Kangova Pack and Ruhoonjo, aka ‘Baas Pack’, also donned the red, white, and blue strip of ‘Kaserandu’ with pride at different intervals, while skinny playmaker and family member Janitor Tjatjitua Katjiteo was a valuable squad member of the Reds.

2023-10-27  Carlos Kambaekwa

Share on social media