Sports still racially divided
She asked her father why after 22years of independence, there are still national teams comprising of one colour group, representing the country at international sporting events.
The 14-year old Dapwa went on to show her beloved father pictures of some national teams consisting of one racial group only and which lack a mixed representation of the citizens.
The rather oblivious and ignorant father, who has shown little interest in sports except only when the Brave Warriors engage in some international matches, could not provide his daughter with a proper answer.
Interestingly, another daughter asked her father when the Brave Warriors took on Mozambique at the Independence Stadium earlier this year, why there were so many ‘Darkies’ at the stadium; simply questioning what happened to the white and coloured compatriots!
Surely, a true Namibian parent would want to paint a picture of national reconciliation in response to their daughters’ questions. But, having looked at the pictures and the other parent looking confusedly at the faces of the spectators at the stadium, their answers were far-fetched as both parents were caught off guard. They never really expected their daughters to have such inquisitive minds.
Now, let’s call a spade a spade because truly, avoiding to speak about sports is doing an injustice to this country, especially in light of the Vision 2030.
To start with, very little is really being done on the ground by national sport bodies to be inclusive despite some having won awards during the previous MTC/NSC Sport Awards held annually.
If most sport bodies such as the Cricket Namibia (CN), Namibia Swimming Union and Namibia Tennis Union have, in the past, clinched awards for their development programmes, why then do we still see national teams comprising of only whites or blacks?
The youthful national swimming team that did very well at the South African Level 3 Gala in Port Elizabeth is 100% comprising of one racial colour, what happened? Is it that there is just one municipal swimming pool in Katutura (township) or barely any household swimming pools that is why blacks are not represented in the national teams?
Interestingly, most sport codes previously enjoyed by the former so-called masters are still being enjoyed by them, with blacks only enjoying their fantasy of one day doing this sport and that sport.
Perhaps, the lack of the central Government’s political will and the toothless local municipalities should be taken to task to tell us why there are very few recreational facilities or rather lack of sport facilities in areas dominated by the poor who are labeled as coming from the ‘previously disadvantaged communities’.
Kids, from the un-recreational populous areas only have one thing on their mind and that is to play football; nothing less than soccer, since it is the only passionate sport closer to them.
If, whoever is reading this now took a drive to Katutura or elsewhere around the country, you would notice young black boys playing soccer in open areas.
Strangely enough, the Khomas Women Football League has attracted interests from the white community but of course, not from the native white communities; instead, from different foreign mission ambassadors sending their daughters to ply their trade in the league.
Again, one wonders if our white compatriots have no interest in having their kids play football because of reasons best known to them.
Though blacks make the attempts to see the Welwitschias in action at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium, local whites compatriots have shown little or simply no interest in the national football team activities.
Now, tell me; have we really been busy building this young and youthful nation after 22years of independence? Or are have we been building smaller communities within this huge land affectionately known as the ‘Land of the Brave’?
Has the policy of national reconciliation failed us in sport or is it that national sport bodies are still administered by older sport administrators who evidently are there to promote their own self-absorbed interest of promoting division instead of uniting the nation through sports?
Time has come to reflect on the status quo of our national sport bodies and truly set the tone, or else, sport codes that do not deliver in terms of their individual developmental programmes should be de-registered and never get any sort of funding from the NSC until their houses are in order.
Forward reconciliation through sport and away with division in sport.