Conrad Angula of the Namibian newspaper used to write a soccer column titled ‘Soccer Safari’ and that earned him the name Safari. He once wrote about Black Africa and said: ‘There is nothing that has not been said about Black Africa on the Namibian soccer scene.’
Imagine a team playing all the league games and not losing one, waking up still with five league games to play, yet ahead of the best with a leap of 15 points. This is an achievement perhaps unparalleled on the world scale. And this is not the first time in the history of the club, even the worst had happened to Black Africa. One year the team faced relegation of the worst order. They were left with no option except to play and win all the relegation play-offs.
They had to play two teams from the first league in order to qualify for the relegation play-offs. One of them was United Stars from Swakopmund and the other was Try Again from Keetmanshoop. Imagine slipping from being the best team in the country to battling for survival through relegation play-offs. The whole soccer fraternity was mobilized against Black Africa. The team went through the relegation play-offs with ease and retained its presence against odds. Then they made a commitment: they decided to hence forth lift every price there was to win and they did. The year 1993, Black Africa won virtually all the trophies on the table and ended runners-up for the league.
I recall how they fumbled on the league. They played their cut-throat match against Chief Santos from Tsumeb at the Independence Stadium and the game plan was that Gindy Gawanab had to mark a diminutive left winger called Steven. Oh my word! Gindy left Steven alone all the time and each time the coach cautioned him he just kept saying: ‘Axaba’. All eyes were on Gerros Witbeen of Santos. Gerros dummied all defenders to the goal post and looped quietly to Steven, who was of course not marked and he scored. And there went their league hopes. Since then all who are associated with Black Africa believed that the league price was not meant for Black Africa until the generation of 2010 to 2012 came to dispel the lies.
In the history of Black Africa, all the way from the days of Spokes Tibinyane, Black Kangootui, to the intermediate generations of Pele Eichowab, Malaka Stroh, Albert and Hannes Louw, Lucky Boonstander, Five Hochobeb, Alakaks, Frankie Fredericks, Kandas Paulino and George Martin, to the days of Smithley Engelbrecht, Eric Quest, Bobby Samaria, Lolo Goraseb Mike Pietersen and Brian Isaacks. All the way to the present, Black Africa has remained the team to beat and, all that other teams did, Black Africa did better. Yes, I know this time around I did not make many friends with this column and I shall have to avoid walking past the lunch spot of my friends from African Stars on independence Avenue, at least for a week.