I have learned that there are certain sport codes being administered like households, in that athletes whose parents serve on some of these executives enjoy favouritism over others. The Namibia Sports Commission has for far too long procrastinated on the implementation of tangible laws and rules that clearly spell out clear penalties deemed reasonable if one is investigated and found guilty of racism and discrimination. Sport has been one aspect of our lives that has over the years brought together nations that were previously at war, and evidently helped to reverse tribalism and discrimination in some countries. Rwanda, for example, has used sport especially rugby as a vehicle to unite the Rwandese following the massacre caused by tribal hostility between the citizenry. I think the NSC must come up with a blueprint that clearly spells out what action needs to be taken should a sport administrator contravene the laws and the NSC must be vocal on how sport federations can have equal representation on the executive. A balanced representation at executive level is key to having a balanced demographic in teams representing the country. Why can’t we have an equal number of representatives on the executive committees? I mean, why do we allow a situation whereby some sport codes are run by families at the expense of athletes deserving placement in national teams? What are some of the criteria in place in registering a sport code? What does the NSC look at before giving affiliation status to an applicant? It’s not just racism in sport but discrimination generally is another bone of contention that worries me. I still have to see some of our white compatriots at sporting events in Katutura. We have had the senior national team, the Brave Warriors, playing qualifying matches and international friendly matches at the Sam Nujoma Stadium but I still have to see our native white brothers and sisters attending such matches. Just the other day, I witnessed something interesting when our very own senior national rugby side hammered Kenya to be crowned the Africa Gold Cup champions. It was a match attended by many but how do we make sure that black fans also attend cricket matches and not just cricket, but sporting events like tennis and swimming also, to make our sporting events a truly Namibian affair? What I’m saying is plain and simple: to diagnose the disease we need to treat the cause as there are no two ways about healing this wound called racism and discrimination. I vividly remember when South Africa successfully hosted the 1995 International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup and went on to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but having said that we are reading a lot about racism in that country, but – compared to us – our neighbours down south have made strides in transforming sport codes previously dominated by whites. Just this year we saw Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus appointing Siya Kolisi as the national team captain – such changes speak volumes about the transformation process. Not that we don’t have national teams captained by black athletes but having a white player captaining the Brave Warriors would surely express a lot in terms of where we want to take our sport as a nation. Unity through sport is imperative, I say.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015