Shooting from the Hip – Local should be lekker, but is it?

So, for the umpteenth time our representatives in both continental football competitions, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League and the Confederation Cup, failed to clear the first hurdle.

The reactive process that followed leaves much to be desired since traditional indigenous cultures combined with loyalty dictate that charity begins at home. Unfortunately many Namibians, notably those who follow the beautiful game of football with keen interest, appear to lack morals and a sense of national obligation and are totally out of sync with the reality punctuated by the responsibility for this initial phase.

While we should applaud local football fans for coming out en masse to support both clubs African Stars and Black Africa during their home legs, one needs to take an analytical approach combined with the larger reactive process, often referred to as critical thinking, as to why Namibians are in the habit of worshipping foreign products at the expense of their own.

Namibia is now entering her 24th year of independence and yet many of our supposedly loyal inhabitants seem to be entangled in the colonial era.

In the case of the Stars home match, it was a good example seeing thousands of Reds diehards standing boldly behind their favourite team – thus in the process dwarfing the small army of Petro Atletico de Luanda supporters or rather symphathizers.

Now, the fundamental question that needs to be analyzed and examined is how on bloody earth could Black Africa, the undisputed Namibian champions, be made to play second fiddle, nogal on their home soil, to Kaizer Chiefs in terms of support?

It’s a well-documented secret that Black Africa have on average 2000 supporters and those trusted soldiers certainly managed to squeeze their bodies through the turnstiles on Saturday, but they were also joined by thousands of football supporters from all corners of the country.

However, what is extremely disappointing is that the vast number of supporters from various local clubs made it their sole province to rally behind the visiting Kaizer Chiefs instead of the hosts – very much against the spirit of patriotism and loyalty, so to speak.

Of course, Chiefs is a massive institution and enjoys huge following wherever they feature within the confines of their native land South Africa and this is where our attachment to the South African glamour football club should know its limits. We all support football clubs campaigning in topflight foreign leagues including England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

It’s a well kept secret that the majority of indigenous Namibians are diehard Brazil supporters for the simple reason that during the height of the South African apartheid era that saw blacks made to feel inferior to their pale hide counterparts – the silky Brazilians led by the legendary Pele, Garrincha and Jairzihno would prove this misplaced notion otherwise. Pele and company would tear into the robust defence of the then lily-white European teams with ease making them to look like beginners at their own game. This turnaround certainly gifted the poor darkies around the African continent some measure of pride and dignity.

In the modern era, it will be tantamount to treason for any indigenous Namibian to shout their lungs out for Brazil when they play against any team from the African continent including our own “Land of the Brave” for that matter.

In conclusion, yours truly is of the genuine opinion that our football is quite a distance behind the rest of Southern Africa and there is an urgent need for a retreat via the shape of the long overdue football indaba to map the way forward if we are serious in getting domestic football on par with the rest of the world.

Enough is enough! We cannot remain a nation hell-bent on celebrating and embracing mediocrity endlessly. Let us call a spade a spade and not a big spoon – the lukewarm reception for both Black Africa and African Stars should not be endorsed as any kind of achievement.

Just because the pair managed to avoid defeat on home soil should not give us an iota of false belief that we are almost there. That’s utter rubbish if one considers that both teams have had ample time to prepare properly for their respective encounters while they were also given the much-needed financial support to chalk up decent results. I rest my case.

By Carlos Kambaekwa