The financial situation within the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) is something that needs urgent consideration not only from Government but also from all private sectors.
Rugby is a source of income to many athletes whose hard work is often overlooked, due to selfishness, greed, ungratefulness and lots of criticism by third-eyes. Take the N$1.5m annual budget allocated to the NRU, for instance; it is way less than what Razundara Tjikuzu would earn in Europe every month.
Although some may ask why rugby should get a similar or bigger funding allocation as football, when it does not attract as large a local crowd as the latter, I think it is one of the sports, after boxing, that really receives international attention. And that’s something to be proud. I mean, really, the country has qualified to the rugby world cups enough times, thanks to the Welwitschias.
Now, the Welwitschias, who will be looking at their fifth world cup qualification as long as they overcome Madagascar, Kenya and Zimbabwe in the qualifiers, will need financial injection from domestic stakeholders who seem pretty unwilling to sway financial support in that direction.
Perhaps the only person who could solve this issue is the next President, Dr Hage Geingob, since he seems to be the only Cabinet member interested in local sports. But that would be a long call, as his reign is almost two years away.
If you think I am lying, go and ask the Sports Minister Jerry Ekandjo which year the Welwitschias played its first world cup game. Or better yet, ask him to give you any rugby national team (Welwitschias) player’s name.
The Welwitschias will play its tri-nations tournament before year-end and every capable Namibian should go out including Ekandjo, Juliet Kavetuna, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, Vivienne Katjiuongua (Namibia Sports Commission chairperson) and the rest of the sport division crew, to support the team.
The MTC/NSC sports awards are also getting closer, yet none of the sports office bearers are anywhere to be seen at any rugby game, be it the RPL or the Welwitschias games. Worse, they expect enough media coverage whenever they hold press conferences or make ministerial statements.
Sorry to say but I believe Katjiuongua needs to familiarise herself with all sport codes by attending their matches, so she can understand why certain individuals are nominated for certain awards and not others. And this should not be based on media reports or from the sport code officials.
As things stand, Namibia Breweries remains the main sponsor of the Welwitschias while others such as Navachab Mine, First National Bank (FNB) Namibia and Metropolitan only focus on grass-root levels.
The question is; where are the NAMPOWERs, the NAMWATERs and the NAMDEBs and their bosses who only show up when donating money at gala diners or spending in adverts in celebration of the President or Founding President’s birthdays?
Tim Ekandjo and Frans Ndoroma are the only two prominent public figures from high profile corporate companies who always make efforts to attend sports events, not because their companies sponsor them but because they have a passion for the sports.
Shame on other bosses who do not do the same. And to think they create time to watch the Springbok, England, New Zealand and Australia play their test matches in the comfort of their homes every weekend but do not bother to drive or take a taxi to watch the Welwitschias play visiting teams! Yessus!
I rest my case!