Tribute to a forgotten football hero Kiro Makati (Diergaardt) 1950 – 1988
The garden town of Okahandja has in the past produced a significant number of great athletes that went on to establish themselves as noted ambassadors for their home town. The likes of Simon and Doc Naobeb, Oscar Mengo, George Gariseb, Albert Tjihero, Ace Tjirera, Lemmy Goagoseb, Hassie Mingeri, Merino Kandonga, Bimbo Tjihero, Erastus Gariseb, Congo Hindjou, Khai-Aob Gariseb, Harry Garos-Aob, Richard Gariseb, Marko van Wyk, Larney Madjiedt, Jessy Diergaardt and many others were all protégés from this historical enclave. However, many a football follower is unaware that one of the most likely underrated strikers of his generation in the game, the late Kiro Makati, aka Diergaardt, was also a product from the garden town. Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekwa Windhoek-Former Eleven Strangers, Spartans and Black Africa football clubs’ deadly forward Kiro Makati, aka Diergaaardt, arrived in the city of lights (Windhoek) as an unknown raw goal poacher from Okahandja-based outfit Young Stars FC. His former club was just a part-time football club made up of Coloureds/Basters who sought to preserve their identity within the community during the height of apartheid. Though they posed little danger to their illustrious neigbours Spoilers, Black Beauty Chiefs (BBC), Battle Boys and Magic Tigers, Stars’ fluid one-touch style of play captured the imagination of football followers from the vastly populated Nau-Aib residential area, And while many young talented footballers from that neck of the woods exchange the town for the city of lights in search of greener pastures, finding refuge with some of the leading football clubs in Katutura – Kiro went the opposite way as he joined forces with Khomasdal giants Eleven Strangers football club. He became an instant hit amongst the club’s diehards including his new teammates who all took a liking to his amazing football virtuosity. Despite his weight and trademark extra oversized buttocks, Kiro was quite fast off the mark, a feared deadly shooter who could strike the ball from any distance with both feet, and above all, an excellent finisher. Truly speaking, besides the late trident of Ellen van Harte, Hermann “Pele” Blaschke and Fritzie Poulster - bro Kiro ranked amongst arguably the finest Coloured/Baster footballers of his generation. Kiro’s amazing goal-scoring prowess endeared him to the hearts of football followers including supporters from rival teams. The beefy forward announced his arrival in topflight football with a breathtaking display, tearing apart the visiting football team from Okiep, Namakwaland at the old Ella Du Plessis sports field in Khomasdal in 1976. In the interim, the much sought after Kiro would feature as guest player for Khomasdal outfit Spartans and Katutra gianst Black Africa. The adorable bulky net buster won almost everything there was to be won in domestic football as he played a pivotal role in ensuring that Eleven Strangers got included in the new set-up when the country’s football authorities resolved to merger all football leagues into one national league. Eleven Strangers was amongst the first clubs in the newly formed Central Football Association (CFA) league under the banner of the newly formed South West Football Association (SWAFA) in 1977. However, the team found the going tough in the highly competitive league that included the likes of football giants African Stars, Black Africa, City United, Ramblers (Ramkat), Orlando Pirates, Pirates (Dolam), Okahandja Mannschaft, Ramblers, SKW and Tigers. After a few seasons struggling to make their presence felt in the topflight football league (CFA) – Strangers folded following a thorough bashing from the rampant African Stars in their opening league match of the 1980 season. The red-hot Stars, playing without the injured Oscar Mengo, went on the rampage thrashing the hapless Khomasdalers 16-0 in a one-sided encounter at the SKW field. That proved to be the final straw on the camel’s back as Strangers never managed to recover from that embarrassing setback. The team eventually went the unavoidable path of the dinosaur – never to resurface again. On a rather light note, Kiro would operate on two separate surnames for strategic reasons, Makati and Diergaardt. The latter would be conveniently used whenever Spartans travelled across the Orange River for several exhibition matches or to compete in knockout tournaments in South Africa. Bro Kiro was also often subjected to racial abuse by his would-be in laws as they could not stomach his adoration and subsequent intimate relationships with Coloured lasses who fell head over heels for the likeable goal-scoring machine. Sadly, bro Kiro passed away on the 6th of November 1988. Details about the real cause of his mysterious death while on an apparent job assignment in the northern part of the country remain sketchy. May his soul rest in eternal peace, in one piece.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-02 11:19:31 11 months ago