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Tribute to a trio of departed sport legends

2023-06-16  Carlos Kambaekwa

Tribute to a trio of departed sport legends

 Tribute to a trio of departed sport legends   

Lesley Bougard 1952 – 2023, Naftalie Goraseb 1963 - 2023, Mekupi Kaovere1976 - 2023  

 A dark cloud has befallen the culturally proud close knit residents of Rehoboth following the untimely death of rugby coach Lesley Bougard, aged 70. A qualified accountant, Bougard has served Namibian rugby with distinction during his tenure as an astute mentor for the national seven’s team. 

The much adored academic also played a pivotal role in the unsurpassed success of multiple titles winning Unam Rugby Team, on top of leading the national sevens on several international excursions. 

As has become customary practice, New Era Sport will dedicate today’s page to paying a dignified tribute to this unheralded rugby icon in addition to paying homage to the pair of departed retired footballers in the shape of former Chief Santos’ versatile midfielder Naftalie Goraseb, and Kaondeka Aces Football Clubs speedy winger Mekupi Kaovere. May their souls rest in power, collectively. 

It is not always easy to bid farewell to a departed loved one, but death is like an old friend who keeps following you wherever you go, only to tap you on your shoulder uttering the following words;

“Hey buddy, do you still remember me”, and by the time you turn your face to return the gesture, you are gone, evaporating into thin air…. that’s death, it strikes you like lightning. The life of Lesley Bougard was a blessing and his memory will remain entrenched in the hearts of those who have come to know him up close and personal. 

Although the masses out there are deeply saddened by the untimely departure of the much adored former Sevens Rugby mentor, many are likely to be grateful for the times and moments they have shared together with Lesley Bougard. 

Boeta Les, you may have departed far too soon, but your legacy will endure forever in the hearts of those who have crossed your path, without a shadow of doubt, you have certainly given Namibians some of the most adrenaline pumping moments from the dugouts of the rugby fields. Well, the song is ended but the melody continues. Rus saag Boeta Toet.  

RIP - Naftalie Goraseb 1963 - 2023

Going by the nickname of “Magic”, the Otjikoto Secondary School protégé was amongst a group of young talented footballers who went through the magical hand of astute football coach Max Johnson, during his elementary school days in his native town Tsumeb. 

Ou Nat started playing competitive football for boyhood team Chief Santos where he cemented himself as a vital cog in the team’s engine room. A qualified schoolteacher, the boy with the sweet left foot also had a short stint with Nomtsoub rivals Benfica – much to the chagrin of the Santos diehards.

Off the field, “Gora” as Meester was often called within the circle of his dozens of admirers, the cool as a cucumber versatile footy was an uncompromising political activist, astute educator par excellence occupying several high profile portfolios in the education sector. 

“Gora” held the plum positions of school principal at St Michael’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Kamanjab, and Frans Frederick in Fransfontein, respectively,
both holed up in the great semi desert
Kunene region. He will be laid to rest at his adopted town Kamanjab, on Saturday, the 24th of June 2023.   

Mekupi Kaovere 1976 - 2023 

Just as the northeast village town of Okakarara celebrates the unbelievable arrival of Okakarara Warriors Football team to the country’s flagship football league, a dark cloud has slightly dampened the mood and joy amongst the town’s football crazy inhabitants. 

News about the sudden death of former Kaondeka Aces Football Club fast as lightning flying left winger Mekupi Kaovere, has sent shockwaves amongst the community. A product of the revered Okakarara Secondary School, the left winger started his flourishing football career at the unfashionable village team Kaumbangere in the Otjinene village before he relocated to Okakarara to further his secondary education. 

Young Kaovere joined the local youthful outfit Superstars in his native village town of Okakarara playing alongside the likes of fellow highly gifted young footies in the following sequence; Fusi Tjriange, Nocky Mbeuserua, Donker Katupose, Tjimbakete Tjeriko, Rusuvero Mariine, Nelson Tjeriko, Alpha Metirapi, and few others. 

However, his impressive eye catching performance caught the eyes of talent scouts from local rivals Kaondeka Aces, whose management tip-toed to his parents’ residence to dangle a juicy carrot in their faces for the signature of the promising youngster, and as they say, the rest is history.  

Kaovere found himself in the company of some of the finest talent on offer, proudly sharing shared the dressing room with the likes of former African Stars Football Club hard galloping midfielder Kuveri Overseas Tjongarero, Codesa Ngangane, Alala Kaatahi, Oule Kauuai, Rodney Katjivena, Neville Mbai, Kavii Kangombe, Uazungua Kazombiaze, Appolos, and Marco, amongst a galaxy of Superstars, from that neck of the woods. 

The boy with the appetising left foot will
be best remembered for his breathtaking
goals and trademark thunderous pile drivers from long range that have left many goalkeepers with permanently deformed fractured fingers. To the bereaved families of the departed athletes, please be comforted with the biblical phrase that ‘life is eternal and love is immortal whilst death is only a

2023-06-16  Carlos Kambaekwa

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