WINDHOEK – When legendary American songbird Carole King, composed the hit song “You got a Friend” - she must have had a premonition about the dilemma awaiting former African Stars and Hungry Lions sharpshooter Jackson “Kotjiuru” Meroro.
During his playing days, Meroro used to bamboozle a significant chunk of opposing goalies with ferocious long range pile drivers, which has left dozens of brave shot stoppers with disfigured fingers.
Having started his flawless football career with the brave “Lions of Judah” as Hungry Lions are known, the light skinned skinny striker was your typical old fashioned center forward who could shoot equally comfortable with both feet from any range and angle.
A product of the revered Okakarara Secondary School, Kotjiuru started playing competitive football with ambitious Katutura outfit Hungry Lions Football Club in 1979.
It was evidently clear that his amazing football talent was a waste in the country’s lower tier league, it was just a matter of few years before “Starlile” came knocking on the door for his treasured signature, and as they say, the rest is history.
Growing up in the OD section of Katutura, traditional home of Stars, it was the boyhood dream of every aspiring footballer to pull the red, white & blue strips of Stars over their heads and Jackson was no exception to this tradition.
The bow legged deadly net buster, eventually jumped ship to find refuge with Stars in 1981. He was to form a telepathic partnership in the three pronged forward line alongside Immanuel Kamuserandu and Juku Tjazuko.
The trio propelled Stars to numerous accolades in domestic football supremacy with Jackson chief architect at the heart of many of the Reds’ triumphs. A noted free-kick specialist, the short-fused serial net rattler still rates amongst the finest ball passers, rarely witnessed in domestic football.
Sadly, his blossoming football career was curtailed by an unfortunate off the field incident, which left him with a badly fractured leg. As fate would dictate, he never fully recovered from the career threatening setback and subsequently called it quits – much to the chagrin of the Reds’ diehards.
Like many other retired athletes, Jackson’s health took a nosedive after mysteriously falling gravely ill. The adorable humorous retired athlete is now wheelchair-bound, suffering from impaired speech, shaky balance and sporadic loss of memory.
His precarious dilemma has obliged his former teammates from Hungry Lions and African Stars to throw their combined weight together.
A trust has been set up with the ultimate aim to assists the terminally ill former sharpshooter with basic needs, including a sizeable bill of medical expenses. This noble idea kick starts with a one-day fund raising campaign at the NFA Technical Center football field on the 16th November 2019.
The appetizing menu on this special day contains a pair of mouthwatering exhibition football matches between old foes African Stars and Hungry Lions golden oldies with Epukiro Masters and Omurari locking horns in the curtain raiser.
This historic sporting extravaganza will be rounded off with live music performance by a selected group of old bones Concert (traditional oviritje) artistes and a golden oldies rock/mbaqanga band, featuring veteran musos.
Event organizers are humbly calling for all Good Samaritans to come on board and add weight to this humanitarian undertaking, be it in kind or any other form, whilst the donation of a more flexible electronic propelled wheelchair will be much appreciated.