• August 4th, 2020

Tales of the legends - Toe-to-toe with Reds’ lethal goal poacher “Der Kaiser” Theo Tjizembua Ndisiro



He came, saw and conquered! Retired “Starlile’s versatile forward-cum-midfielder-turned defender Theo Ndisiro, also going by his clan name Tjizembua, will go down in history as one of very few footballers who have bravely weathered the storm to keep Katutura glamour football club African Stars afloat against all odds. “Der Kaiser”, as the lanky forward was affectionately known amongst the Reds’ diehards, oversaw three different generations at his boyhood club. New Era Sport caught up with the retired lethal goal poacher as he relives his football journey, which started in the dusty streets of Windhoek’s old location back in the day.

 

Theo was born in the remote village enclave of Aroams, Aminus in the vastly populated Omaheke region on the 5th of May 1942. The raw village boy arrived in the city of bright lights (Windhoek) as a nine-year-old boy, barely out of his customary traditional homemade gear (Omutjira).

He started school at the revered St Barnabas Native School “Joveripate” for Bantus in Windhoek’s old location for Bantus. 
With recreational facilities a rare commodity, young boys from the disadvantaged communities were obliged to kick around with a hardened tennis ball toiled in spoilt oil just to while away time, young Theo was no exception to this daily occurrence. 
One of his schoolmates was none other than Rocco Swallows and Poison Cobra Football Clubs lethal net rattler, one Martin Sigab Williams, aka “Okambua Kombandi” 

“Der Kaiser” teamed up with other football crazy boys in the neighbourhood led by Obed Kamburona, Ndanduu Pakarae, Dawid Ndjoze and Ukuna Makono, playing street football at the slightest provocation.
Ironically, his arrival in the city of bright lights coincided with the period when the pair of prominent football teams in the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu (OD) section, Young Standard and Juvenile resolved to disband their respective entities in a desperate bid to form one strong team that would represent the entire Ovaherero speaking community with a certain measure of tribal pride.

The idea was mapped out to counter the dominance of the trident of Tigers, Cape Cross and Thistles Football Clubs. The latter was a predominantly a coloureds/basters team. Aged 14, Theo and his football playing school buddies started in Stars’ second strings. 
The boys were going through the ropes under the tutorial of club stalwarts Dr Tunguru Huaraka, Thomas Hindjou, Justus Katume Handura, Mboroto Tjirare, Aphas Katjivirue, Willy Katjimbotjo Kavari, Katirori Katjiuongua, Kariko siblings Joel and Dicksy, Siegfried Tjaatako Tjijorokisa, Klaas Kandjii and Cleophas Siseva Sirirka, aka “Danger”.

It was not long before the youngsters were thrown into the deep end after they were elevated to the Reds’ first team. “I started as a midfielder before being converted to a striker (centre forward). Back in the day, football was just about having fun but the game was very competitive with tribal bragging rights always at stake,” recalls “Der Kaiser”.

With the recruits gradually adjusting to the tough and demanding rigours of first-team football, the youngsters acquitted themselves very well, settling in like a glove in hand with the old guard.
Theo was to form a devastating telepathic partnership with the quartet of Obed Kamburona, George Hoveka, Floyd Maharero and bulky forward Raonga “Rhoo” Mbaeva in the Reds’ firing line. A highly gifted lethal goal poacher, Theo was shifted into the centre forward slot where he proved a serial net buster. 

“Der Kaiser” became the toast of “Starlile’s followers and his name was always amongst the first on the team sheet.”We had a very good bunch of committed athletes under the shrewd stewardship of likeable departed football administrator Levy Komomungondo”. 
The latter was the biological uncle to retired director of sport, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii. With no proper league structures in place, football teams in the impoverished black townships were confined to sporadic knockout cup tournaments.
“We used to travel to far ways towns such as Keetmanshoop, Walvis-Bay, Gobabis, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja to compete in those popular marathon knockout cup tournaments”.   

Theo was the main architect when the red hot Stars won the annual S.K Hoveka Trophy at the expense of bitter rivals Tigers at the Bantu field at Windhoek’s old location. “De Kaiser” netted the only goal beating “Ingwe’s agile shot-stopper Stepha Seibeb, hands down.
In the intervening years, Theo was tasked to usher the new generation of young footballers into the ageing squad. 
The new arrivals were spearheaded by the versatile but often volatile Amos Tjombe, Mike Pack, Kapundi Hei, Pastor Seth Ndjirukiree Kaimu, Hijambura Ndjahera, Hohova Ndisiro, Sam Kandjou, Bob Kauapirura, Meundju Kakunde, Tjatjitua Katjiteo, Willem “Scage” Kandjiriomuini, Maihiuombua Hei, Cosky Ngaizuvare, Ripuree “Six Fingers” Hoveka, Chope Kauazunda, Raonga “Rhoo” Mbaeva-Kaumbangere, Usiel Tjijenda and Petrus Mazenge, amongst others.

The seemingly ageless “Der Kaiser” would still go onto oversee the emergence of the likes of young students from Augustineum Bertholdt Tjiundje and Alex Vekarapi. 
The pair were joined by Chief Tumbee Tjombe, acrobatic goalie Uzeu “2x2” Muundjua, Epson “Omburu ja Pako” Kapuire, Ngatangue Ngezemba, youngsters Kaika Kuzee, Katjimune “Smody” Kamaheke, Bush Menjengua and Gabriel “Kierie” Tjituaiza.
The free-scoring silky “Der Kaiser” led the Reds’ touring entourage across the Orange River to Upington, South Africa for a series of exhibition matches against local teams from Paballelo.
With age catching up, “Der Kaiser” was duly converted to centre back where he partnered the steady Phillip Hei {Gazza’s old man} in the heart of “Starlile’s rearguard. 

Starting to grow a bit long in the tooth, “Der Kaiser” finally called it quits in 1971 bringing the curtain down to an otherwise uninterrupted career, spanning to almost two solid decades. 
“Eish...I’ve discovered the attention of young sexy lasses (women) and started missing training sessions at regular intervals. As a result, my fitness levels were gravely compromised eventually losing further interest and subsequently decided to hang up my togs,” concludes “Der Kaiser”.

He cited former Tigers stalwarts Andunda and Stepha as his most difficult opponents during his illustrious football career. Nonetheless, “Der Kaiser” will go down in history as one of very few outstanding squad members in the then fairly average African Stars team. 
Nowadays, a successful communal farmer in the Rietfontein district, Otjombinde holed up in the vast Omaheke region, the 78-year old father of 20 siblings, says he still cherishes his countless encounters with both Tigers and Orlando Pirates. 
 


Carlos Kambaekwa
2020-07-31 11:35:21 | 4 days ago

Be the first to post a comment...