For the past two weeks our Namibian national rugby team (Welwistchias) was involved in high profile matches in preparation for the 2015 World Cup qualifiers and they did not disappoint, defeating DHL Western Province by 30-28.
But however what was disappointing was the fans, not that they didn’t pack the stadium but the fact that 99% of the crowd at the Hage Geingob stadium were white. Black people were hardly visible at the stadium. That creates an impression that Namibians are not united. Credit must go to them for filling the stadium like that but where are they also when the Brave Warriors are playing?
A quick look at our neighbours reveals that it’s mostly Namibia that has this theory as my friends from Zimbabwe can testify it is almost 50:50 when their national rugby team is playing. Even in South Africa by just looking on television we see mixed race in the stadium.
The Welwitchias are on the verge of qualifying for their successive fifth World Cup after first participating in 1999 in Ireland, Australia 2003, France 2007 and Australia in 2011 and the race for next year World Cup needs to start at home but at this critical stage of the qualifying process the nation seems like it is divided.
At 24 years of independence we seem like we are still stuck in the apartheid era, how can the team that qualified for four World Cups not be supported by all sorts of people in the country?
Come the 28th of June Welwitchias will be facing gruelling rugby World Cup qualifiers in Madagascar pitting long-time rivals Kenya, Zimbabwe and the host and we all need to be behind them.
As far as I am concerned the rugby team is the most successful national team in the country.
It’s the only team to win a trophy outside the country when they were the only side to maintain their proud 100% record at the IRB Nations Cup in Bucharest, after grinding out an impressive 21-16 win against fellow Rugby World Cup qualifiers Georgia.
Supporting some national teams and not others will just further divide the nation as well put the Namibian sports sector further behind.
It is high time we erase the division in sports and support all the national teams be it black or white dominated national teams.
Back to rugby now, although the qualifiers are in Madagascar we need to show love and support our national team be it whether you are black or white because in the end its always sports that is going to prevail.