Heartfelt tributes yesterday poured in from all corners of the country as Namibian football mourns the untimely death of former Tigers Football Club midfield maestro Nathaniel “Alele” Kapule, who died Sunday at age 51 in Windhoek.
Also popularly known as Zico during his heyday, the veteran attacking midfielder’s passing was officially confirmed by former club Tigers on their social media platforms, where the club expressed its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the departed legend.
“Rest well Nathaniel Alele Kapule. He will always be remembered as a light in this world. Our sincere condolences to the family and to all Ingwe faithful. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” reads Tigers message of condolences.
Although not much of a household name for senior national team the Brave Warriors during his prime, Kapule will forever be remembered as a pivotal cog for Tigers in the early and mid-90s and for having been instrumental in paving the way for the club’s younger generation.
Leading the tributes yesterday was former Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti, who described Kapule as one of the greatest midfielders to have ever graced the shores of Namibian football and as someone who inspired his football career.
“I had so many midfield battles with him during my playing days with Civics and coming up against Alele in many of our matches was always a nightmare. In fact, he was my senior during those days because he was more established and more mature when compared to me, as I was still trying to establish myself at Civics. He was someone who wanted to win at all costs and that’s why I always describe him as a winner by heart. He was a good passer of the ball, he could read the game well and his ability to adjust and readjust was just purely amazing. He was what I would call an all-round midfielder,” reflected a downcast Mannetti, as he remembered Kapule.
Mannetti, himself a former industrious midfielder for the Brave Warriors and Civics, said he was beyond traumatised because he had personally met with Kapule on Sunday afternoon at a burial in Windhoek and they conversed about their playing days.
“We met at my aunty’ s funeral on Sunday afternoon, I think around 14h000 or 15h00, and I was telling him how great of a footballer he was and how he inspired me to become the player that I went to become. I told him how much I appreciated him and we joked and I also introduced him to my wife…that very same Sunday at around 22h00 I got a call about the news of his passing and I couldn’t believe it. I mean we were together just a few hours ago and now this has just happened, it is really sad,” added Mannetti, who made history when he mentored the Brave Warriors to the 2015 Cosafa Cup triumph and the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) quarterfinals.
Hundreds of local football lovers yesterday flocked to social media platforms to pay tribute to Kapule, paying their last respects to the departed enterprising midfielder, who also played for African Blizzards FC in the now defunct Central Football Association (CFA) second tier division. -firstname.lastname@example.org
2020-05-26 09:03:53 | 4 months ago