Julien Garises was born on the 1st December 1968, hailing from the “people’s republic” of Katutura, Damara-lokasie suburb.
“I am a product of Auas Primary School, and later went to Damara HP [now Goreangab Secondary School] and then ended up at Jan Jonker Afrikaner High, where my political awareness and consciousness was grounded.
Garises was also part of a militant student movement, the Namibia National Student Organisation [NANSO] which instigated the famous nationwide student boycott against Bantu education in 1988.
“Despite the turmoil at our schools, my militancy in student politics and my passion for the people’s game of football, I sat and completed Standard 10 [now Grade 12] of ‘Kaap die Goeie Hoop’ as it was called during those years”, Julien recalled vividly,” she said.
Julien did not lose the political aggression completely and said that she had learned new negotiation skills and diplomacy which are two strong attributes as a unionist in the employ of Telecom Namibia.
She is famous and commands great respect from her peers, employees and the leadership of Telecom Namibia.
Garises knew what she wanted in life following her Senior Secondary Education, she enrolled her self at the Polytechnic of Namibia in 1990 in the field of Public Administration.
She currently hold a Diploma in Public Administration. “Hailing from a disadvantaged community, my family could not afford my tuition fees and nor could I win a bursary for further studies. I had no choice but to take up odd jobs to earn some money to pay for my studies,” she said.
As strong as her political base is, so is her passion for football as well.
“I am an ardent Orlando Pirates supporter and my uncle, Lalao Gariseb took me to all Pirates’ matches at the old Katutura Stadium before it was rebranded as Sam Nujoma Stadium. During my school days, I played football with the boys during break times in 7-A-Side matches and tournaments. That was fun”, she stated.
Garises said, while she was still studying she never lost interest in football.
“I spent plenty of time with a ball on the football pitch and often in the streets to master set-pieces to improve my skills to juggle the ball because football became the centre stage in my life.
Julien recalls her first time she got involved with football and that was during a female FIFA World Cup match between China and USA.
“That was the first time I saw the FIFA World Cup between two superpowers, China and USA and this is where I seriously decided to pursue football in all earnest.
Garises is also a founding member of women football together with MTC/Namibia Premier League (NPL) champions Black Africa’s Medic Daisy Awoses, despite a lack of interest in women football at the time.
“We were girls at that time and Daisy Awoses, now the Medic of Black Africa, started City Girls, and Zelda Vries started Survivals and the Women Football League started to catch fire.
She added “we travelled to Otjiwarongo and invited school girls of Paresis Secondary School; and familiar local football names such as Salimi Tjikulu of Black Africa and Jacky Gawanas were in the forefront and started their team Manchester United” said Garises.
Garises was a substantive member of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Executive Committee, during the presidency of Eliot Hiskia, Imms Namaseb and Adv. Petrus Damaseb, now Judge President.
“I was already in the employ of Telecom Namibia since 1990 and started as an office administrator at NamPost, before the split that gave birth to Telecom Namibia,” she said.
With the country set to host the 9th edition of the TN Mobile CAF Women’s Championship in October this year, she calls on Namibians to rally behind the Brave Gladiators.
“All seven countries in the TN Mobile CAF Women’s Championship are tough competitors, but this will not scare the Brave Gladiators and our National Football Team will be one of the three countries to qualify for the FIFA Women World Cup in Canada next year,” said Garises.