I, for one, do not know if the newly appointed Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture (MYNSSC), Jerry Ekandjo, and his deputy, Juliet Kavetuna, will deliver their novel responsibilities especially when it comes to sports development.
I have no doubt in my mind that the honourable minister and his deputy will deliver in the field of culture, youth, national service but sport, as an individual entity, is the problem.
We have had three previous MYNSSC ministers who have failed the sport fraternity dismally in terms of securing enough funding for the development of sport not just in the towns but throughout the country.
Pardon me for being frank but I have not heard of any sport minister in the past or present who undertook a familiarisation tour to assess the country’s sports facilities and perhaps find out why certain sport codes are concentrated in some areas only?
I don’t mind his Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba shuffling his ministers and deputy ministers but my worry is whether some of these ministers especially in the MYNSSC have the development of sports at heart.
I know very well of the former Minister Kazenambo Kazenambo declaring publicly that he knows nothing about sport except that he is simply a politician and determined to execute his mandate.
Who of you sport enthusiasts have seen Ekandjo or Kavetuna at any sporting event since Namibia attained her Independence? I, for one, cannot remember seeing either at any sporting activity.
Please remind me when you see me at our favourite gathering place if you (reader) have seen either Kavetuna or Ekandjo contributing anything to sports during debates to do with sport development or insufficient funding towards sports in parliament.
Sports administrators are yet to see a sports minister determined to fight for millions of dollars to be invested in sports and for the new minister to convince his fellow parliamentarians on the importance of investing heavily into sports.
All I am saying is that our parliamentarians should have a collective political will by rallying behind Namibia’s sportsmen and women if we truly want to see our athletes doing tremendously well at local, regional and international events.
I had an interesting conversation the other day where I was told that for as long as the sports ministry is headed by an individual who has no interest in it, all this begging for more funding will forever fall on deaf ears.
I have also been informed that for Namibia to be in the top three within the Sadc region in terms of sporting excellence, the country needs to invest and prioritise sports development as a matter of urgency.
Perhaps now that the ministry has a deputy minister, sporting associations such as the All Namibia Netball Association (ANNA) and Women in Sport Association (umbrella body) will have to convince Kavetuna to be their voice when seeking sponsorships from Government or the corporate world.
I have seen many ministers attending boxing events organised by the Nestor Tobias Academy but the sight of the new sport minister is yet to be seen at boxing tournaments, football matches (Brave Warriors).
Well, let’s not point fingers yet but give them (minister and deputy) ample time to refocus their energies to their new responsibilities.
Despite what I have said I, nonetheless, congratulate the new minister and his deputy in their new roles and hope that the veteran director of sport Vetumbuavi Veii will advise the newly-wed accordingly.