• July 14th, 2020

Views from an aspiring footballer’s perspective

Luciano Ronaldo Isaaks

My name is Luciano Ronaldo Isaaks, born and raised in Windhoek but hail from a small southern town of Maltahöhe. I am currently a second year law student at the University of Namibia (Unam), majoring in arbitration and dispute resolution. 

I grew up in Windhoek’s Otjomuise location, a place where hardship and struggle are all around you on a daily basis. A place where you easily become a drunkard, drug addict or even worse, a jailbird before you even make it out.

My life is filled with lots of great memories, from having a loving mother to doing well in school but one that most stands out is having fallen in love with football at a very young age. I owe a lot of my passion to soccer. I believe that only sport has the power and ability to change the world and bring people of all tribes, religion, beliefs and genders together. A year ago, we established a team in the location known as Impala Chiefs – it was under the leadership of coach Sacky Elago. He was given all the club’s responsibilities and the task of bringing players from Otjomuise together. 

Coach Sacky promised us the team will go on to play in the country’s Second Division and also get opportunities to further our careers in South Africa if we showed that we are serious and disciplined. 
What made our team and its players so special is that we did not only have talented players but players that were always willing to go the extra mile for the team. One such player was Waldo “Wathu” Hengari. This is a player that amused us all with the way he handled situations, how he addressed his teammates and the coach. Waldo’s vision coincided with mine and he had this ability to talk to the team when it really mattered. If it were not for him, a lot of the boys would have quit. We lacked proper training grounds, had no sufficient sponsorship, a lack of training equipment as well as transport. 

What we lacked for we made up with determination, hard work, extra hours and discipline. The biggest gift coach Sacky gave us was unity – never had I felt so proud to be part of a team. The feeling of maybe, just maybe, we can become great together. 

As our team grew, most players stopped going out to nightclubs, some minimised the use of alcohol and others found hope and something to do again. But now all our dreams, hopes and aspirations of hopefully playing football beyond our borders and representing our country one day have been shattered by the ongoing politics in local football.

The real blow came when coach Sacky told us that he was going to further his studies in sports management at the university of Bidvest in South Africa. We were told the team would be handed back to the owners and that the team’s base and all activities will be moved to Katutura. With no sign of Second Division football and almost impossible to start training in another location for all the players, the Impala Chiefs’ dream came to an end for me and many others, and the little opportunity we had to make a change in our community vanished. But I choose to take the positives out of this situation. We still do not have football in the country and that situation has thrown the dreams of many youngsters out of the window but I still believe that you are enough to make a change, your abilities and personality make you unique. 

I promise everyone reading this, where there is a will there is a way. In a few weeks and months to come I will start my own club from the ground up and continue to inspire and uplift my fellow youths through football and sports in general. My destiny and yours lie in our hands, so stand up and take action Namibian youth!

* Luciano Ronaldo Isaaks is a young footballer and currently a second year law student at the University of Namibia (Unam), specialising in arbitration and dispute resolution.

Staff Reporter
2020-03-06 09:39:35 | 4 months ago

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