Allow me to let you in on my dirty little toilet secret - every time I use the urinal I spit.
It’s a habit I picked up when I was a kid and it has stuck with me.
Even if I’m using the stinking toilets at Soweto Market or Independence Stadium, a bush latrine at Omaruru, or the exotic smelling bathroom at the Country Club Hotel, I still spit. I don’t know why.
I remember once after failing maths at high school, I laid blame on the fact that I hadn’t spat when I went to the toilet before the exam.
I have used the toilet when Welwitchias were playing at Hage Geingob Stadium. It’s not only me or blacks who do that, so don’t laugh at me alone.
If it’s not a habit then there must be some superstition attached to it. Boxers, footballers and athletes all relieve themselves before competing - I wonder if they attach any superstition to spitting.
But boxing is quiet strange because that’s where you find this country’s biggest moguls and tycoons.
What I find interesting is that they are a bunch of boxing encyclopaedias. They believe they know everything about fighting and occasionally approach ring-side to shout at a boxer for not ducking when he was supposed to. Some even come close to Nestor Tobias’ corner and advise him on what must be done to win. I laugh at such sights, wondering what would happen if we put these boxing ‘google.com’ into the ring themselves.
Last year, an experienced loser Joseph Katenda, then 7fights 7loses, fought Martin Haikali, 2fights 2losses. Katenda was fighting an upcoming youngster and had a good chance of getting his first ever victory. But Haikali was stubborn. He surprised the Swakopmund fighter in what became the toughest fight of both boxers’ paltry careers. It was a fight of losers, but the audience loved it as they shouted at both miserable boxers trying to tell them what to do. I think the noise absorbed into Katenda’s battered ears. He could not find his ring-side when the bell rang and even went to the wrong corner. Funny but piteous.
Only at the boxing do you bump into familiar faces whose names you don’t remember. One night I bumped into Kobi Alexander; I wonder if he will remember my face should we meet again on Saturday.
Nouveau-rich Alexander and I sat for quite a while as we tried to get acquainted with each other’s sporting taste. He made my night.
“Sport runs in my blood. In fact it runs in the family,” said Kobi, the night The Hitman sparred with five fighters.
From the late 1990’s up until recently, Kobi solely owned Israel’s most popular basketball club, Maccabi Tel Aviv, which won the European (Uefa) championship as well as the Israeli Championship in 1999 and 2003.
I asked him why he always brings the house down when it comes to boxing auctions - Alexander purchased The Hitman’s gloves for over N$10,000 and Taks Naule’s gloves for N$6,000, amongst other purchases.
He said that all the boxing paraphernalia ranging from gloves, posters and boxers’ signatures had been plastered in his son Jordan’s room. Of course Jordan’s room is equal in size to my entire house.
“Jordan is taking up after his parents,” joked Kobi, who flew in international business moguls from the US and the Middle East to attend Jordan’s 13th birthday two years ago.
Kobi first attended a boxing event three years ago, the same day Founding President Sam Nujoma made a surprise entry.
“That re-ignited my interest in sport. I was surprised at how a former President can be so famous in sports because he got a standing ovation. In most countries you don’t encounter such a loveable reception if you leave power,” said Kobi.
He said that besides his great financial involvement in Israeli Sports, he was also a member of the Under 21 Israeli softball team from the late 1960s until 1969, when France beat them 23-3.
He was also Israel’s number three champion in the 100 metre sprint, running 10.9 seconds at a time when there was little technology available to check an athlete’s time.
A staunch Manchester United fan, Kobi did not want to reveal whether he would one day sponsor local sports, “for now”. At that moment, I ‘answered’ my non-ringing phone and bolted from the scene to re-join Kayele, Confidence, Corry and Festus them.
P.S. Kobi, I hope you won’t sue me.