• July 6th, 2020

Up close with Stanislaus Festus Goseb, “the Desert Refugee”

History reveals that former Atlanta Chiefs Football Club’s flying winger, the late Hermann “Pele” Blaschke, was the greatest local footballer to have ever walked the planet.

The afro haired “Kaffertjie”, as Blaschke was known amongst his buddies in football circles cut his teeth with exciting Tamariskia outfit Atlanta Chiefs FC alongside the equally dangerous bow legged Ruby Kamulu, Kaningandu Masilo, Alphews Gaweseb and Issy Vezeperauina Kamara donning the gold and black strip of the devastating Swakopmund outfit.

Blaschke, who started his football career with Khomasdal side Thistles FC, was the first Namibian to sign a professional contract in neigbouring South Africa when he was snapped up by Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs in 1969.

In the intervening years, a significant number of youngsters hogged the headlines and were united in their effort to pay their debts to their pioneers. One such athlete was a strongly built versatile fullback going by the name of Stanislas Goseb, aka Festus. He was amongst the first breed of young black aspiring footballers to represent their native land in Apartheid South West Africa (SWA) at the junior level. We caught up with the humorous “Stanis’, as he relives his colourful short-lived football journey.


WINDHOEK – From the word go, the football crazy young “Stanis” was determined and eager to carry the torch keeping the football legacy in the overcrowded Mondesa Township afloat. He went hammer and tongs to absorb an array of influences from his boyhood heroes, notably that of Blaschke and Kamulu.
Although he did not stay long in the game to unleash his full potential, “Staniss” has certainly earned his place amongst the most talented young footballers of his generation having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ngenny Emvula, Carstern Nebe, Gerson Goagoseb, Gregory Hagendoorn, Stakes Louw, Dolfie  Campbell, Edwin van der Colf, Dumpies Mouton and Angelo Pumplin.

A staunch Liverpool supporter, the Swakopmund born versatile fullback was an early starter and says he started kicking a football way before he entered Kindergarten. 

“I was in fact the official ball boy for local team United Stars, not knowing that I will one day exchange my off the field duties for the captain armband with my boyhood team. In those days, football was not only just a pastime to while time away, it was a religion amongst the black community– hence competition for starting berths was extremely tough. 

“One would struggle to make a breakthrough irrespective of your god given talent because physic and endurance were the main criteria for one to be considered for selection, sadly ingredients I was not blessed with…. laughs.

Frustrated for lack of game time at Stars, Stanis teamed up other boys in the neighbourhood and formed a team whom they christened Refugees Football Club.  

Aged 15, and barely out of his pair of shorts, Stanis tasted provincial football when he was called up for the South West Africa (SWA) Under-16 multiracial football team, “the Baby Zebras”. 

In the interim, the energetic fast galloping versatile fullback who played across all positions in the back four was to become a vital cog in the Refugees’ upsurge in domestic low key cup competitions.

The Mondesa outfit mainly competed in various knockout cup tournaments against youthful teams at the coast such as Youngsters FC (Naraville) and some other clubs from Kuisebmond as well. “Youngsters FC were tricky customers to deal with, they had a great bunch of highly gifted youngsters spearheaded by the great Dolfie Campbell, Stakes Louw and Edwin van der Colf under the mentorship of Black Africa and SWA midfield genius, the late Albert Louw, aka “Rescue 911”.  

And just as Namibia attained her long overdue democracy from the much despised South African Apartheid regime in 1990 – Stanis arrived in the city of bright lights (Windhoek) to fulfill his academic aspirations. 

However, he shunned advances from Katutura giants Orlando Pirates and Premiership campaigners Blue Waters FC as he resolved to join forces with ambitious unfashionable youthful Khomasdal outfit Arsenal.
“I asked myself whether I wanted to remain happy playing regular football and enjoy my game or become a benchwarmer at a big team. I opted to stay put at Arsenal because I could sense a fantastic project. 

“Nonetheless, it was not a walk in the park as I needed sufficient time to acclimatize to the hot weather conditions including the team’s style of play under the stewardship of shrewd mentor Gary Sales. The latter encouraged me to remain positive biting my time on the substitutes’ bench until I eventually got to play.

Once Stanis finally got his break, there was no stopping the overlapping fullback from the Atlantic Ocean as he tormented the opposition with his string runs down the flank and such was his devastating form that his teammates rightfully nicknamed him “Kambule”. 

The name was copied from Mamelodi Sundowns and “Bafana Bafana” overlapping muscular fullback, the late Ewert “Ewie” Kambule. Well, the boy from Mondesa certainly lived up to the new tag. The immaculately dressed retired fullback, incumbent Sales & Marketing Manager at local leading daily publication, New Era Newspaper, has fond memories of his time with the star studded Rossing Uranium Mine Football Eleven during the biannual popular Chamber of Mines Games. In the Rossing squad, “Stanis” found himself rubbing shoulders with football heavyweights such as Frank Fredericks, Ben /Gaseb, Koko Muatunga, Bonnie Kantori Paulino, Lucky Boostander, Melkies Hendricks, Ngenny Emvula, Kaboy Shovaleka, Patrick Basson, Daddy Uushona and the late John “Hare” Carew to mention but a few/
“I had the distinct honour of going through the magical hands of football greats such as Castro Gowaseb, Ben !Gonteb, Otto /Gaseb and the late Herbert “Shorty” Lohmeier, who persuaded me to join Swakopmunbd Football Club (SFC)”.

Carlos Kambaekwa
2019-06-07 10:51:10 | 1 years ago

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