Namibian football history would be incomplete if the name of the now defunct Katutura giant killers Hungry Lions Football Club is not engraved in the golden pages of our national archives. The maroon and white stripped outfit has produced a significant number of great athletes who went on to become household names in some of the country’s leading football clubs. The likes of Frans “Foresta” Nicodemus, Jackson Meroro, Shabby Rukero, Patrick “Mandla” Kaizemi, Bobby Tjiho, Celle “Stone” Tjivikua, Manuel “Pornyor” Mendos, Issy “Daka” Murangi, Samuel “Tiwi” Kaundje, Justice Basson, Jeff Tjitemisa, Kallie Bilhawer, Billy Tuahepa and Ringo Skrywer all made their mark with the unfashionable Katutura outfit. While some of them left for pastures green, other great footballers remained faithful and stayed as others were poached by some of the leading football clubs. One man who left his teammates broken hearted was none other than tough tackling skinny centre back Ringo Skrywer, a product of the notorious Dolam enclave. The tallish defender defied tradition by joining forces with Katutura giants Black Africa at the expense of boyhood team Orlando Pirates – much to the chagrin of family members and acquaintances in the neighbourhood. In today’s first edition of the 2018 calendar year, New Era Sports pays tribute to the likeable youthful fullback whose life was tragically cut short in a terrible motor vehicle accident, aged 30. Carlos “CK” Kambaekwa Windhoek-Born and bred in the dusty streets of the notorious Dolam section north of Namibia’s largest residential area, Katutura, Ringo was just like any other young boy his age in the neigbourhood – playing football whenever the chance presented itself. While history reveals that a sizeable chunk of football clubs were established alongside tribal lines, Hungry Lions were indeed a multi-cultural/tribal entity, as can be attested by the ever presence of many athletes from different entities and varying cultural backgrounds. Ringo arrived at the Lions of Judah wRingo arrived at the Lions of Judah with his schoolmates Jeff Tjitemisa, Isaac Kavari, Bones Knadjou, and a few other young boys from Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School in Katutura. The new boys’ arrival coincided with the unfortunate but rather unavoidable exit of some of the club’s leading footballers who left the Lions of Judah’s den to advance their blossoming football careers with the Katutura big four while others skipped the mother land into exile in search of better education opportunities in the early eighties. On hindsight, his frail frame would be mistakenly seen as a handicap and unfit for a fullback in the dog eat dog business of topflight football but young Ringo defied the odds staked against him and went on to become one of the finest defenders in the domestic league. In no time, he carved himself a starting berth in the robust Lions rearguard alongside long-serving versatile defender Chris Hauii Kamaundju, Sebastian Rikondja “Fleish” Hange and Dr Mike Ochurub as well as his calculated centre back partner Manuel Mendos manning the uncompromising Lions’ four-man defence. Ringo was not your old-fashioned centre back; he was your typical modern fullback who always initiated play from the back and his style brought a totally new dimension to the team’s unattractive direct style of play. A great reader of the game and excellent passer of the ball, bro Ringo was equally home in the air and would sporadically register his name on the score sheet when called upon. In the intervening seasons, it was time to move on as the much-adored fullback was eventually snapped up by Katutura giants Black Africa where he was to form a telepathic partnership with club stalwart skipper Indies Damaseb in the heart of the Gemengde outfit’s defence. His arrival at the “Namibian Cup of Kings” coincided with the club’s turn of fortunes, as the Lucky Boostander’s inspired Black Africa made a clean sweep in the domestic knockout cup competitions. Ringo played a pivotal role in steadying a previously wobbling defence with some steady defending and amazing interceptions and will go down in history as one of those very special footballers that have contributed immensely to the club’s golden generation. Sadly, the adorable tallish centre back, with the Elvis Presley lookalike keif, passed away in a tragic car accident abbreviating his life while still at the pinnacle of his flourishing football career, aged 30. May his soul rest in eternal peace in one piece.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-05 10:07:47 10 months ago