Let me doff my Korrie for our MAN of the MOMENT, amateur leather trader, one Jonas Junias, aka ‘JJ’, for his astonishing gold medal capture at the just ended XV Anniversary International Boxing Tournament in Ukraine. The hard punching Namibian, Africa’s sole representative at the August gathering easily waltzed past home crowd favourite homeboy Oleksandr Zheleznyak.
Certainly a win worth to be celebrated by all sport loving patriotic Namibians, given all the traumas of the last couple of years that saw the boy being grounded on foreign soil because of unfounded false allegations of having fiddled with the sacred body parts of a hot Brazilian lass during the 2016 Olympic Multi Sport Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Unlike team sport, boxing is a totally different kettle of fish when it comes to fair play and results can be easily tampered with if the contest is tight. Moering an opponent thoroughly right in front of his own intimidating crowd takes real courage and exceptional leather traders to be given the nod by the judges.
It’s a well documented secret that sport is mutedly inked right at the bottom of our government’s misplaced list of priorities, given the already skeleton budget that keeps being slashed at the slightest provocation. There must be something very special about this Jonas boytjie and one should also applaud his unheralded handlers.
The boy did not only scoop the coveted gold medal hands down, but he also added the prestigious best International boxer award to his gold medal, whilst his mentor/coach Albert Tsamaseb, deservedly walked away with the trophy for the best coach of the tourney accolade to complete an amazing triple for the land of the Braves...certainly no mean feat for the Namibian entourage.
Where to from here now with the Ladies Game?
The Namibian netball team’s lukewarm performance at the recently concluded Spar Challenge Tri-Nations Series in neighbouring South Africa cannot be swept under the carpet, so to speak. The Debmarine Desert Jewels are nowadays a pale shadow of the team that once conquered Africa and the World stage with pride and distinction. Namibia was ranked second best on the African continent behind big sister South Africa upon the country’s democracy in 1990. The basket rattlers were also ranked highly globally, occupying a commendable 14th spot after the World Championship in Birmingham, England in the United Kingdom in 1995.
Now, let us thoroughly interrogate the team’s downward spiral in detail if we are to reclaim our rightful place amongst Africa’s top netball playing nations. Truth be told, Namibia is blessed with abundant talent and has no business playing second fiddle to the likes of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, or minnows Swaziland and Lesotho for that matter.
Firstly, the continued absence of organized competitive national league structures is a major stumbling block and unless this burning area gets addressed properly, our ladies game will remain a much sought after delicacy for stray dogs.
Secondly and lastly, let us swallow our misplaced pride and bring back white players to the fold because netball is firmly entrenched in their DNA. I rest my case.