Friday 23 April 2021
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When politics enters the ring

Just when the nation has come to accept finally that the country is broke and that finance should not be the reason we don’t prosper in sport, it seems those in charge of stables are now aspiring to become politicians. Except that they have opted for their election to take centre stage in the media instead of the stadia of the country. It is generally accepted that we will only see the kick off of Namibian football in 2017 and now it appears we are tired of waiting for the return of the beautiful game, so while we are at it lets destroy another sport which is a Namibian favourite namely boxing. One cannot but wonder whether we are naturally destructive or just bored.

At times I feel like I am caught like a deer in the headlights, because everywhere you look there is a championship. If its not ‘The Redemption’ then it’s ‘The Return’ and so the story goes on. Allegations of corruption, the lack of governance at the level of the regulatory body are truly worrisome. In most nations, sport has the role to unite a nation and to create occasions for celebration but not in Namibia. We appear to have learnt with great diligence, the apartheid notion of divide and rule. We forget one of the favourite liberation slogans which is “united we stand and divided we fall”.

Until made to think otherwise, I still believe this country can produce another champion like Harry Simon, but the current conditions do not augur well as we seek excellence. It appears the status hungry stable leaders have lost the plot and are now throwing blind uppercuts to whoever is in their way. Where is the leadership? When the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Jerry Ekandjo appointed the new Board, he stated his hope that they would work to clean up boxing’s severely tarnished image. One can only state that the evidence only points to the contrary.

Just yesterday, Kinda Boxing Promotions, MTC Sunshine Academy and Iron Lady Promotions aired their gripes against newly elected Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board chairperson Ellison Hijarunguru. They believe Hijarunguru is a despot who will cripple the country’s boxing if he is not immediately recalled. This is a gentleman who rose to fame earlier this year after his appointment as Chairperson. Alleged to have a “too close to call relationship” with Mr Kamanya, the very same Hijarunguru lifted Salute Boxing Academy suspension within a week of his appointment as Chairperson of the new Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board.

Not to be left behind, Salute Boxing Academy has taken even a bigger step to ban the three promoters from their boxing event scheduled for tomorrow with allegations of sabotage. He says the three countrymen’s presence serves no purpose and that they “are capable of sabotaging our event”. Interestingly enough, MTC’s Tim Ekandjo is also restricted from attending.

It says a lot when the house that is supposed to facilitated fights is itself in fights refereed by the fighters themselves. What is central to all these premature stances is that those who usually do the fighting in the ring suffer the most.
Boxing administrators need to understand that the ring in Namibia is big enough for all to exist. We really need to iron out our differences and focus on producing champions regardless of which camp they come from. With such a small population, we have done well so far when it comes to discovering and growing talent, but with the current fracas in which boxing finds itself, the future remains bleak. Leave politics to the politicians and focus on producing national, continental and world champions.
Remember, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

It’s time we put the real enemies in the ring or TKO them in the interest of our boxers.

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