Although it’s extremely hard to swallow, let alone digest, it is common knowledge that death and grief are hourly universal experiences that many families, friends and acquaintances should get used to accepting that this world has not been cut out as our permanent habitat.
Dear readers, please pardon me but my ageing fingertips are trembling with pain, grief, and anger as I’m tickling the keyboard inking a tribute to a departed buddy, former Red Fire Football Club winger, uncompromising football fan, and a great man of substance Jacobus Uapeua Hauri Kamehozu.
The big frame football crazy Kamehozu loved the beautiful game so much that he would never start a conversation without mentioning his beloved ‘Okaserandu’, as Katutura glamour football African Stars is ardently.
The always immaculately dressed Kamehozu was the younger brother to late veteran political activist, astute football administrator, and former Governor of the Otjozondjupa region, Rehabeam Rapama Kamehozu. May their souls rest in power, collectively.
As has become customary practice to acknowledge our sport heroes and heroines present and posthumously, New Era Sport Era pays a dignified tribute to this likeable great son of the soil, Jacobus Uapeua Hauri Kamehozu.
Regrettably, the generally well-spoken friendly football fanatic died from a sudden cardiac arrest while in Windhoek earlier this week.
The beautiful game of football is commonly known as the ‘unofficial unifier’, as it has brought a lot of people from all walks of life together, it has no boundaries, knows no colour, race, tribe, religion, and above all, does not discriminate.
It’s the only powerful tool that possess the ability to mend and unite broken relationships, amongst disgruntled societies.
The author came to know Kamehozu up close as a true gentleman, a man of mild manners, decent upbringing, well spoken, humble, very respectful, and considerate towards his subjects.
He would never let an opportunity slip whenever our paths crossed to always enquire about the progress of the game, and was amongst those that were very annoyed, sickly worried and disappointed during the long dragged in-fights within the domestic football set-up.
Kamehozu was not only just another crazy football enthusiastic; he was a true buddy of mine with a warm heart, his untimely puke-inducing departure has certainly left a void in the hearts of his beloved ‘Starlile’. Surely, the grief for the Reds’ saddened supporters must be unimaginable to digest.
Born in the compact village of Okavakueuva, north of Otjimbingwe in the mountainous Erongo region in 1954, Kamehozu grew up in Grootfontein after his parents relocated northeast in search of greener pastures. He started his elementary school in his adopted town, spending a significant chunk of his formative years as a young man in the dusty streets of Omulunga township in Grootfontein.
Although no credible records or oral historical accounts could be traced about his early involvement in the game during his formative years, it’s common knowledge that the permanently immaculately dressed bearded Kamehozu was football crazy. He was extremely passionate about the game, ign fact, the brother ate, drank, loved, dreamt, and lived the beautiful game of football.
He started out with Omulunga outfit Poison Arrows in his adopted town Grootfontein, playing alongside Eslon Don Kavindjima, and the legendary pair of devastating attackers Curtus Tjizepa, and the evergreen beanpole Johannes Poriro Upingasana.
Some of his celebrated buddies during his early days in his adopted town Grootfontein were; Kamatjindengua, Kovanja Kutako, Bella Rukoro, and Engelhardt Sikajo. Like many ambitious young men his age at the time, Kamehozu packed his bags and hit the long road down sea level en route to the Namibian harbour town Walvis Bay, in search of better employment opportunities in the fish processing factories.
Upon his arrival in Walvis Bay, the boy from Otjimbingwe joined Kuisebmond giants Blue Waters, where he strut his stuff for the Birds’ second strings, before changing allegiance to unfashionable Kuisebmund outfit Red Fire Football Club.
The latter was a recreational entity, comprising of predominantly Ovaherero speaking athletes, doubling as amateur boxers in their free time. Despite his huge frame, Kamehozu was a remarkable speedy winger, operating on the right flank for the unfashionable Kuisebmund outfit.
However, the ambitious strongly built forward developed itchy feet as he could no longer stomach the more than often unpleasant odour of the freezing Atlantic Ocean, only to resurface in the city of bright lights (Windhoek) in 1976. He found employment with the City of Windhoek (CoW) Municipality until his compulsory retirement in 2019.
The former Red Fire Football Club fast as lightning forward wasted little time, and courageously retreated to his village Okatuakoverua, Otjituuo, to concentrate on livestock farming, a task certainly fulfilled with a great measure of success until his untimely departure from mother planet.
Before I conclude, let me briefly borrow few famous phrases from various renowned authors: “What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose, a true buddy is never truly gone, their spirit lives in the memories of those who loved and rubbed shoulders with them.”
“The bond between friends is beyond the mortal world, indeed they say friends are the family we choose. Well, losing a close buddy via death is cruel, uncool and cold. But warmth is found through fond memories, so curl up with them whenever you need to.”
I was fortunate, and highly blessed to have known and rubbed shoulders with such a kind-hearted, honest, and genuine open minded wonderful soul like Kamehozu. May he find blessings in his next life.