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Shooting from the hip - The rise and fall of promising golfer Nande

2020-03-13  Carlos Kambaekwa

Shooting from the hip - The rise and fall of promising golfer Nande
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Just less than a year ago, local golfing sensation Likius “Puyol” Nande, was hailed as the best thing that could have happened to Namibian sport after the legendary Frank Fredericks.
The Walvis Bay born movie star look-alike lad, invaded what was previously regarded as a pastime for the more privileged white community, tumbling long standing records as if the act of adjusting history was going out of fashion.

Despite his rookie tag, the coastal boy rose to prominence, hitting the number spot in the national men’s rankings - much to the chagrin of seasoned golfers. 

And to put the cherry on top of the cake, Likius was overwhelmingly voted the most valuable sportsman of the year, claiming the newly introduced prestigious sport star award during the yearly Namibia Sport Commission {NSC} awards ceremony in Swakopmund in 2018.

The accolade was accompanied by a handsome amount of N$300 000 to be precise. Well, there’s an old adage that money does not change people, it only reveals the true colours of the recipients. 
Word has it that the usually well grounded calculated fellow started behaving “bossy” around those around him in golfing circles. It’s said the boy started living the high life, puffing expensive cigars not ordinary “foes” (cigarettes) - lunching and dining in upper class eateries.  

Living in the fast lane comes with “perks” my broer, moolah starts melting with subsequent frustrations, friends and cherries becoming lean, indeed a rare commodity. 

As this was not enough, funds depleted alarmingly to the extent that the young man could no longer afford to enter high profile competitions, a scenario that has seen him falling behind in the national rankings - tumbling from the number one spot to fourth position, as we speak now.
Nande is not the only high athlete to fall into this ugly trip of money mismanagement. 
Earlier this week, reports emerged that former world footballer of the year Ronaldinho, was arrested for falsifying a visa in Paraguay and needed the divine intervention of former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, for bail out. 

Now, the fundamental question that needs to be raised is; who’s responsible to give guidance to financially inexperienced athletes, should it be their handlers, parents or umbrella sport bodies?It should be noted that Nande is not the only local athlete to have gone the wrong way, making wrong decisions in terms of financial mismanagement, dozens of former local professional footballers, boxers and rugby players have also gone completely broke upon retirement.

It’s incumbent upon umbrella sport bodies as custodians of sport to introduce tangible measures and teachings of proper financial management for athletes. 

This nauseating issue is not only unique to Namibian athletes - it’s a global phenomena.  
High profile sport millionaires such as Mike Tyson, David James, Paul “Gazza” Gascgoine, Jon Arne Risse have found themselves penniless while legends such as George Best and Phil Masinga, died as paupers. 
There is an urgent need to introduce hard and fast rules, dealing separately with financial management for would be professional athletes. Frank Fredericks is the epitome of academic excellence as he managed to balance his decent earnings between the high life, motjies and books. I rest my case.                  

2020-03-13  Carlos Kambaekwa

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