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Shooting From The Hip: It never rains but pours for Namibian sport

2021-05-07  Carlos Kambaekwa

Shooting From The Hip: It never rains but pours for Namibian sport
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Despite the recent exploits on the athletic track by the devastating pair of Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, both products of the neglected Kavango region, Namibian sport is entangled in serious shambles, starting from the top echelons.

The latest devastating revelation from the International football governing bodies that the Brave Warriors will be no longer enjoy the comfort of hosting their international matches on home soil is a bitter pill to swallow and a crystal clear indication of the not-so-cool slippery slope journey our sport has inadvertently embarked upon.

Truly speaking, how did we come to this mess? Red lights have been flickering since the dawn of the poorly constructed Sam Nujoma stadium, slightly over a decade ago. The author has been critical about the overall design of what was meant to be mega of domestic football.

After all, the venue holds great memories for those who have trotted on that turf during the height of racial segregation in the then Apartheid South West Africa before Namibia gained her long-awaited democracy in 1990.

History reveals the Katutura stadium was the only football field fitted with a lawn in the entire country and it was a rare privilege for any footie worth their salt to enjoy the feel, inhaling the hypnotising fragrance of that fresh grass (“Okahozu”). Back in the day, any footie who has never set foot on that pitch would and rightly so be branded a Moegoe in dire need of refinement.

On the other end of town, primary schools in the affluent residential areas for lanies were freely enjoying top-class recreational facilities fitted with lawn.

Coming back to the sorry state of both the Sam Nujoma and Windhoek’s Independence stadiums, it should be noted that the Independence stadium has been placed under the care of the portfolio ministry whilst the City of Windhoek is entrusted to run an eye over the Sam Nujoma stadium.

Oops, let us not forget the sports field at the Katutura Youth Complex that resembles a gravely neglected garbage garden. The Sam Nujoma stadium was constructed at a worrisome heavily inflated cost of N$50 million. Yes, 50-mil, my broer!

From day one, there was overwhelming evidence that the newly built stadium was not up to scratch but authorities resolved to turn a blind eye on the shenanigans. Public funds are being systematically redirected in typical Mafia-style for personal gratification but the culprits are generally left off the hook or often posted to Coventry with just a gentle wrap on the knuckles.

The Sam Nujoma stadium is not even fit enough for domestic topflight football league matches; the playing surface is hopelessly too small – the half-baked rooftop only provides shelter for fans seated in the upper storey.

To make matters worse, ablution facilities are certainly not user friendly; the media booth is wrongly mounted, making it extremely difficult for reporters to follow the action on the field of play. Everything is just upside down on that field.

The only reasonable solution is to dismantle the entire structure and start afresh. Also, please engage the services and expertise of proper engineers and blokes with football knowledge. This is what happens when corners are cut with eyes firmly fixed on making a quick buck. I rest my case!


2021-05-07  Carlos Kambaekwa

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