Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 09:45
THE achievement of Namibian boxing sensation, Julius Indongo, becoming the first Namibian holder of three world titles, is the stuff that Namibian legends are made of and the foundations on which a future challenge of national inspiration and patriotism can rest securely.
In a remarkable exhibition of every quality that Namibians admire and aspire to, Julius Indongo dismantled the legend of Ricky Burns, the only Scottish boxer to hold three world titles. Indongo not only silenced the partisan Glasgow crowd but with a display of Namibian pride, sportsmanship, technique and bravery that the Scots so fiercely admire from their own liberation heroes, won them over to a standing ovation after the judges only needed a few minutes to announce the Namibian as a unanimous winner.
Millions of sport fans all over the world, and especially the fiery Scots with their own legendary warriors like the original freedom fighter “Braveheart” (William Wallace 1270-1305) or Robert the Bruce who saw the recognition of Scottish Independence, were introduced to the excellence of a small country with Indongo and 30 Namibian spectators leading the charge.
Indongo was on his mission for a nation and fought for a cause keeping his promise to come back a world beater.
The bout of 45 minutes was a masterclass in boxing. More than 14 000 kilometres away from his Namibian home and support of a gruelling 15-round title bout in Glasgow, Scotland, Indongo made the world take notice of the awkward south-paw from Namibia.
Ricky Burns, a Scottish and world boxing legend with twice as many fights as his Namibian counterpart, was not only a Glasgow favourite, but a favourite of millions of enthusiasts who did not know of Indongo or Namibia.
When the fight ended they knew and thought differently.
Now millions admire Indongo and Namibia because the respect he showed is the respect he earned.
The world also now knows that the lanky Namibian, who went to Ipumbu Senior Secondary School in Oshakati, was not lucky to knock out Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky within 40 seconds of the fight in Moscow, but that he is exceptionally good, disciplined, brave and committed.
The magnitude of the achievement of Indongo and the standing of Namibians in the international boxing arena is demonstrated by the presence of three other former World Champions from Namibia, Harry Simon, Paulus Moses and Paulus Ambunda, as part of the hundreds of Namibians who were at the Hosea Kutako International Airport to welcome home the golden boy of the nation.
The biggest compliment came from his much more famous opponent, Ricky Burns, who declared after the fight that the better man had won.
The Burns remark after the agony of defeat tells its own story, because to be generous in defeat is a rare quality in a world where excuses exist for nearly everything under the sun.
Therein lies the biggest lesson Namibians must draw from this world class performance by Indongo. He mirrored what a nation wants to be and should aspire to.
Namibians should give their best regardless of the odds and different opinions, and should also never waver in the face of any adversity.
Namibia achieved this the moment Indongo entered the ring, displaying the unmissable national symbols of the flag and the golden sun that would 45 minutes later shine on the brightest on the nation in a faraway corner of the world and from the land of legendary Scottish warriors.
The humility of Indongo did not portray a gladiator fighting for his life, but rather of a Namibian patriot who had planned not to disappoint his nation and those that believed in him.
Moreover, Indongo represented a steely will and a commitment to discipline which was proven through the fight, never wavering from his game plan and never being tempted to take short cuts and risks.
The biggest achievement is the grace with which Indongo accepted victory that was bought with streams of sweat and sacrifices over many years, because he was driven to be the best.
Indongo placed himself and Namibia in a special class of world beaters by the unification of three world titles and became the champion of Namibia’s three previous world champions.
His behaviour and humility brings hope and exposes the true DNA of a nation of fighters who will be the best they can be no matter what.
The lasting lesson of the Indongo world achievement for all Namibians is that anyone can achieve without tearing anything or others down.
The challenges that Namibia as a nation is facing will be overcome by building on the solid foundations of the nation that came to being in 1990 and not by demolishing but by adding to the mixture of the good and the bad that Namibia and its people will from time to time face.
A nation that aspires will improve and will achieve whatever goals they set for themselves.
Just ask Indongo from Ipumbu Secondary School.
He is living proof that Namibia is a unified nation who, like steel, will be tempered and become stronger as time goes by.