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Tribute to a trio of departed footies

2024-06-21  Carlos Kambaekwa

Tribute to a trio of departed footies

Death is like an old buddy who keeps following you unconsciously and one day taps you on the shoulder asking: ‘Hi buddy, do you still remember me?’ Well, the moment you turn to look around, you are gone. 

The last couple of weeks have been a bad omen for Namibian athletes, having lost some of the greatest footies to have ever played the game on Namibian soil. 

Theodore Uncle Wherrick ‘Ou /Hurob’ Zimmer-Goreseb, tailed by Hans Eichab, founder of Katutura giants Orlando Pirates and Pirates (Dolam), burly attacker Erich ‘Bomber’ Hanstein. 

As if this was not enough and while many are still licking their wounds trying hard to come to terms with the sad loss of their loved ones, tragedy struck again with the sudden departure of three footballers who made their mark in the annals of domestic football. 

In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature, Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport pays dignified tribute to the just-departed trio of Moloi Korupanda, Kashikolo Shashi and Ronnie Shannon. May their collective souls rest in eternal peace.   

 

 

Abia Uaire Moloi Korupanda

He came, saw and conquered, famously paddling on the nickname Moloi, stolen from former Orlando Pirates (South Africa) stocky playmaker Percy Chippa Moloi. He is a man who needs no introduction in Namibian football, having mentored both Etosha Lions and Rundu Chiefs at different intervals during the height of racial segregation in apartheid South-West Africa, before the inevitable arrival of democracy in 1990.  

The bulky attacking midfielder arrived in the city of bright lights (Windhoek), as a raw village boy to pursue a diploma in carpentry (wood craft) at the revered Augustineum Training College in the mid-70s. Like many other young boys his age at the time, Korupanda was football-crazy. 

He wasted little time before joining a hostel team, Rocking Stars, a team primarily comprising pupils from the eastern part of the country. Despite his bulky frame, the left-footed attacker was quick off the mark, with a brilliant first touch, amazing dribbling skills, complimented by a powerful shot from his educated left boot. 

In those days, many established football clubs made full use of products from learning institutions in their vicinity, and Augustineum and the unofficial school of excellence (football-wise) - the St Joseph’s (Döbra) Secondary School - were chief suppliers of talent to the Windhoek-based teams. 

Korupanda joined the ambitious Katutura OD outfit Hungry Lions Football Club, a team brought to life by an enthusiastic young man hailing from Epukiro reserve in search for a sense of belonging in a volatile urban society that was always cold towards villagers encroaching their sacred turf. 

However, the new kid on the block needed serious enforcements in some areas, and turned to the Okakarara and Augustineum secondary schools as their chosen happy hunting grounds. 

Korupanda was recruited among a significant number of his homeboys, marshalled by Issy Ndaka Murangi, blood cousin Abel Uahindjua Five Korupanda, Dorich Tjerivanga and other highly-gifted youngsters to boost the fairly fragile squad with few pairs of fresh legs. 

Ironically, Hungry Lions had a trident of fraternal left-footed players from the Korupanda clan with identical playing in the shape of Andrew Uaetongue and Korupanda. The latter slotted into his new environment like a hand in glove, supplying telling passes to the forwards and scoring vital match-winning goals for the emerging Brave Lions of Judah. 

As fate will dictate, the Lions' flamboyant number 10 was inadvertently converted to the goalkeeping position after regular shotstopper Ben Kandimuine was injured during a match. It should be noted that back in the day, football teams did not have reserve goalkeepers on their radar. 

As a result, the self-styled brave Korupanda volunteered tongue-in-cheek to shift between the goalposts, and as they say, the rest is history. The big and versatile footie cemented himself as a reliable net-guard, keeping goal for the maroon and white strip outfit until his premature retirement from playing competitive football. 

Off the field, Korupanda was an elegant dresser with a damn good taste for his bright multi-coloured matching attire. Upon retirement from playing competitive football, Bro Moloi tried his hand at social football with the Epukiro Masters until he reached the sunset of his playing days. 

With the unfortunate demise of his beloved Hungry Lions, he was not entirely lost to football. 

He silently shifted allegiance, and became a staunch supporter of Katutura glamour football club African Stars, and attended most of the club’s home matches, despite being unwell for a considerable period. 

Sadly, he succumbed to kidney failure at a Windhoek health establishment last week. He will be sorely missed by those he rubbed shoulders with. Go well until our paths cross again in heaven. May your gentle soul rest in ancestral power.   

RIP - Kashikola Shashi 1993 - 2024 

Just as Cuca Tops, one of the most adored football teams from the great Kavango region celebrates their long-awaited return to the country’s top-flight football league, tragedy struck the happy-go family following the shock death of inspirational club skipper Kashikola Shashi. 

He played a pivotal role in the black-and-white strip outfit’s smooth-sailing fight for promotion to the elite league, and his sudden death came as a shock to many, including fans from rival teams. 

Shashi might be gone to be reunited with his ancestors, but his immerse contribution and unwavering commitment towards the success of the club and football in general will forever be entrenched in the minds of those who were fortunate enough to watch him on the football pitch. May his soul rest easy. 

Ode to departed seagull Ronnie Shannon 1942-2024

One of the pioneers of Atlantis Football Club from the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay, mourns the death of club stalwart Ronnie Shannon. Born in Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa in 1942, Ronnie arrived in South-West Africa and started working for the South African Navy as a 17-year-old until a friend, Francisco Borrusso, invited him to Walvis Bay.  

Shannon was offered employment at Worker Right under the stewardship of Hartmut Dennewill, who happened to be an executive member of Atlantis Sport Club. He invited the Capetonian to try out his talent at the club. 

He became an instant hit, playing for the first team between the 60s and 80s. A much-loved humble soul, Ronnie leaves behind his spouse and daughter.


2024-06-21  Carlos Kambaekwa

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