Namibian football is a great deal indbted to Kuisebmond’s self made buisness mogul, one Collin James April. History reveals that a significnat number of local footballers who went onto carve their careers in the paid ranks, notably in neigbouring South Africa were shipped acfross the Orange River by none other than the football crazy Walvis-Bay born lad. These footballers went onto become household names at the international stage but the man who have masterminded their professional careers remained in the background and unnoticed, so to speak. Born in the coastal harbour town of Walvis-Bay in 1975, young Colin was just like many young boys his age during his teenage years, football mad – he would play the game at te sligehst provocation be it on pavements, backyards or any available open piece of ground.
Growing up in the dusty streets of Kuisebmond, a rersidential area for Bantus (blacks) under the then Apartheid regime, with the town administered as part and parcel of South Africa, it was not all roses for young Colin. In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sports feature, Tales of the Legends, profiling our athletes past and present – New Era Sports delves into Aprils’ thorny journey as he ventured into the dog-eat-dog industry of footballers agent.
Walvis-Bay – One of Namibia’s emerging young entrepreneurs Collin James April, has against all odds staked against him managed to build a reputable business empire through his rapidly growing company, Centani Investments.
The latter is testament of sheer perseverance, punctuated by a good head on his shouders. He proudly holds multiple interest in fishing, mining, retail, hospitality and leisure, property development as well as construction.
The shrewd busisnessman started off as a salesman at different car dealerships in his hometown amongst them; M&Z Motors, Lonro Nissan and Southern Car Sales where he managed to carve a reputable name in sales for himself.
After few years in the motor vehicles industry, the ambitious young man resolved to try his hand at business by selling cars on behalf of others - making commission to finance his start-up business.
However, the brother was forced to close shop as it became a challenge to make decent profits because most people who owned cars would prefer to sell their vehicles themselves.
Football enthusiasm and talent identification
As a teenager, Collin used to sell apples and oranges at local football matches in order to suppliment his school fees.
Nonetheless, his love for the beautiful game of football did not stop there as he eventually went onto play competitve football for boyhood team Namib Woestyn Football Club, one of the most adored teams from that neck of the woods, back in the day.
Collin is the incumbent Executive Chairman of the gold and green strip outfit Namib (Woestyn) as the club have embarked on an aggressive campaign to rekindle the ailing fortunes of the once darlings of domestic football.
As fate would have it, a career ending knee injury sustained in a near fatal car accident in which he fractured his leg, shattered his childhood dream of becoming a professional footballer.
This prompted him to quit the game he so dearly loved prematurely but did not stop him from being involved in the game.
“It was during those painful and dark episode that I decided to become a football agent assisting talented footballers to find clubs whilst facilitating their transfers to professional league structures beyond our borders,” reveals Colin in an exclusive interview with New Era Sports. .
While recovering from critical injuries sustained in the horrific accident, he continued to make contacts with reputable club owners in neigbouring South Africa including the rest of the African continent, paving the way for more transfers to be effected.
Bro Collin facilitated the transfer of over thirty-five (35) local footballers to play their trade in South Africa, Norway, Thailand, Malaysia, Sweden, Finland, Botswana and Israel.
Collin made his first breakthrough in 2006 when he masterminded the transfers of two highly gifted youngsters in the shape of former Blue Waters flying winger Paulus “Wire” Shipanga and Okahandja born bulry centre back Richard “Ou Rhoo” Gariseb to Bidvest Wits University in the stinking rich South African Professional Soccer League (
Another aspect led to his bigger dream with the unavoidable establishment of Centani Investment – a business venturte born out a desire to create employment for fellow Namibians.
As it stands, Centani Investments currnelty employs to date up to 250 people directly and indirectly across the spectrum of the land of the Brave. The easy going young enterpreneur serves on various boards namely; Tukondja Trading Enterprise, Harmony Mining, Market Demand Trading, African Rainbow Minerals and Ubuntu Construction and Development.
The latest business venture is Coneil Group, a company, which primarily focus on agriculture, specifically crop production, food processing and animal feed production, proudly manufactured on the 9000ha farm in the Southern part of Namibia.
Corporate Social Responsibility
As part of his company Centani Investments social responsibility programme, James April has always committed himself to community service and assisted the orphaned and vulnerable groups in Walvis-Bay with financial contributions, donation of food parcels and also extended his assistance to families who were unable to bury their beloved ones due to financial constraints.
Annually, his retail business arm provides the elderly groups in the country with food parcels and assists them to settle their outstanding municipal bills.
Leadership and Special Services
Bro Collin is the seating Chairman of the Erongo Football League, and under his astute leadership, the region managed to win the Namibian Newspaper Cup and the Scorpion Cup. Furthermore, he introduced the annual Erongo Governor’s Cup, which has since become a yearly gathering in the vast Erongo Region.
He was appointed as special advisor to the Topnaar Traditional Authority. The Topnaar people are indigenous people of Namibia that live along the Kuiseb River near Walvis Bay and are well-known for their broad knowledge in making medicines and food stuffs from the indigenous !Nara plant only found in Namibia.
The brother is accredited for facilitating difficult negotiations in the transfer of scouted talents in the form of quality and talented footballers to neighbouring countries and abroad.
His business acumen led to the establishment of a reputable company which led to the appointment and/or nomination to Board of Directors (BoD) of various companies. Collin boasts a reservoir of knowledge in the administration and development of local football.
Caring family man
Collin April is still looking for madam right though he has fathered five sibblings and lives in Walvis-Bay, where he runs his businesses from the Headquarters of Centani Investments in the harbour town on the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
2019-01-25 10:15:43 2 months ago