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Home / Tales of The Legends - Ode to the great Eliphas Cornelius ‘Spanyo’ Erkana 1954-2023

Tales of The Legends - Ode to the great Eliphas Cornelius ‘Spanyo’ Erkana 1954-2023

2023-05-05  Carlos Kambaekwa

Tales of The Legends - Ode to the great Eliphas Cornelius ‘Spanyo’ Erkana 1954-2023

The unwritten history of Namibian football will be rendered gravely incomplete if the name of Blue Waters Football Club is not inscribed in the opening paragraphs of the narrative. 

The exciting Kuisebmond outfit has in the past produced a significant number of high-profile personalities of remarkable pedigree, who went on to become household names in various spheres of life. 

Waters will always crop up in many conversations for dozens of future generations for her flawless attractive style of play.

Back in the day, the Beautiful Birds, as the club is affectionately known, was the envy of every aspiring footballer growing up in the coastal harbour town. It was the childhood dream of young boys to pull the sea and foam strip jersey over their tiny heads with a certain measure of demographic pride. 

Many of the club’s playing personnel started their journey in the Birds’ lower ranks, working their way up to the top echelons of the team’s well-laid-out blueprint. Many players felt proud representing the Birds at any level, mostly starting right at the bottom of the team’s well-oiled structures. 

One such player who started his somewhat short-lived football career with the Birds is flamboyant Kuisebmond-born socialite Eliphas Erkana, famously known as ‘Spanyo’ amongst his vast circle of friends. 

Sadly, the wheelchair-bound gentleman passed on following a marathon battle with a prolonged illness at the age of 68.  

As has become customary practice, profiling our athletes, present and posthumously, New Era Sport will today pay homage to departed former Blue Waters and Golden Bigs football clubs’ lethal attacker Erkana in the most possible dignified fashion. Spanyo, until we meet again, may your gentle soul rest in power. 

< Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekua



eath has struck the close-knit family of Blue Waters Sports Club for the umpteenth time in the last couple of months. It is a well-documented secret that one of the most recognisable figures from that neck of the woods, one Eliphas Spanyo Erkana, has been unwell for a considerable period. 

Nonetheless, his departure from mother earth came as a shock to those who have known him up close and rubbed shoulders with this jolly good fellow. 

A true gentleman and great man of substance, Erkana was a man of the people and would always make time to chat, throwing his trademark jokes, and he was never short of flamboyance.  Always elegantly dressed, Erkana was not only known for his football prowess; the brother was also a great personality who mingled freely with people from all walks of life. Like many young boys his age, the strongly built forward started out in the Birds’ third string, gradually working his way up the ranks until he nailed a place in the first team in the intervening years. 

He was amongst the club’s golden generation that took domestic football by storm in the early 70s, alongside the likes of Ranga Lucas, Johannes Kapuii ‘Black Napoleon’ Hangula, Lawrence Zondi Amadhila, Simon ‘Lohmeir’ Angula, Daniel ‘Slugger’ Imbili, Neema ‘Lemmy’ Lazarus, Bonetti Nilenge, Tommy Kaimbi, Josephat ‘Moripe’ Jakonia, Simon Ulamba and many highly gifted youngsters.

With time passing, a significant number of Kuisebmond residents retreated to their original habitat in the then-Ovamboland, whose booming economy was starting to take shape. Erkana was amongst those who trekked up north in search of better job opportunities in the fast-developing town of Oshakati. 

The well-spoken and much-liked football crazy socialite wasted little time and joined local outfit Golden Bigs. Erkana comes from a football-playing family, as his siblings Tangeni, Pacha, and Bana Erkana, as well as younger brother Sam Sheya were all formidable footies in their own rights. Sadly, all the brothers have since transitioned to eternity. May their souls continue resting in eternal peace!     

Erkana’s death follows short on the heels of other Blue Waters legends, including his close buddy Lukas ‘Ou Tjommie’ Hipondoka, Eliphas Aupapa Shipanga, Jerry Shikongo, Govala Mupupa, Munjanda Koos Muaine, Lukas Hanga Muatunga, Jasehn Khumalo Petrus, Jerry Tobias, Martin Veiko and Rubi Kamulu. May all their souls continue to rest easy! 

2023-05-05  Carlos Kambaekwa

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