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Home / Tales of the Legends | In loving memory of Cameron ‘Hotdog’ McNab 1996-2022

Tales of the Legends | In loving memory of Cameron ‘Hotdog’ McNab 1996-2022

2022-04-14  Carlos Kambaekwa

Tales of the Legends | In loving memory of Cameron ‘Hotdog’ McNab 1996-2022

Carlos 'CK' Kambaekua

A true gentle giant has taken a bow from the game of life to be reunited with his ancestors in heaven. The young McNab was a formidable, imposing loose-forward, who cut his teeth in the country’s top-tier rugby league, attired in the red, white and black strips of boyhood club FNB Rehoboth Rugby Club. 

He announced his presence in domestic rugby with dozens of breathtaking displays as a Sevens player, representing Namibia internationally with a great measure of pride. 

The huge-framed flanker started his promising rugby career at a young age – and hardly out of his pair of shorts – as a pupil at the revered Dr Lemmer High School in Rehoboth. Upon completing his secondary education, he was offered a lucrative rugby scholarship by the Sharks, and played for the Kwazulu/Natal franchise’s U/20 side for a few months. 

However, his lodging at the Sharks was curtailed by visa complications, obliging McNab to return home. But he wasted little time in joining forces with local rugby giants, University of Namibia (Unam) Rugby Club. 

McNab also represented his motherland at youth level in the prestigious annual Craven Week Youth rugby tournament, which features various South African provincial schools.

He rose to the top of his game through pure strength, astonishing willpower, dedication and an amazing ability to instil fear in his opponents with his physical presence. 

McNab was equally a standout player for FNB Rehoboth Rugby Club, popularly known as the ‘Raging Bulls’. The club and town of Rehoboth are still trying hard to deal with the sudden tragedy that has robbed them of one of their most adorable athletes.

He also enjoyed a successful stint with the all-conquering serial league champions Unam, under the guidance of shrewd mentor and serial winning coach Johan Diergaardt. 

McNab likewise represented Namibia when they clinched the prestigious U/20 Africa Cup in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2015, nowadays known as the U/20 Rugby Afrique Barthes Cup.  That victory earned Namibia qualification to the U/20 World Cup in Portugal in the same year. 

During his two-year stint with the national U/20 side, McNab represented the country at the 2016 World Rugby Trophy competition in Zimbabwe.

Sadly, a profoundly upsetting episode unfolded when the ever-present easy-going McNab was slapped with a heavy career-threatening four-year ban for the apparent use of a prohibited performance-enhancing substance. 

It was during the 2016 World Rugby Tournament that results of the test came back positive from an out-of-competition test conducted in Windhoek. He was subsequently sidelined from the squad midway through the youth tourney. 

However, the old adage that home is always where the heart is played her hand for the umpteenth time when the flanker retreated home, only to resurface at boyhood team Rehoboth Rugby Club after serving his entire four-year ban.

Despite all the brouhaha, McNab will always be remembered for his never-say-die attitude. During his four-year ban from rugby, the impressive flanker did not despair, and turned his attention to the more complex business of leather trading (boxing). 

He was quick out of the corner, and teamed up with enthusiastic local boxing fanatics to mastermind the inevitable establishment of the Hardap Boxing Federation. Despite all the demanding administrative duties of getting the newly-formed federation off the ground, he quickly cemented himself as a mean puncher in the heavyweight division, beating the hell out of his opponents. He was eventually rewarded for his astonishing displays in the boxing ring with a well-deserved call-up to the Namibian Shadow team that toured Morocco in 2019.    

Unfortunately, he ran out of decent opponents after a relatively short-lived boxing career, decorated by three solid wins from the same number of bouts. 

McNab would have turned 26 today. 

May his precious soul rest in eternal peace. 

2022-04-14  Carlos Kambaekwa

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