Inside the Aged
Alongside his more famous buddies Steps Nickel, Barakas Nauseb, Alpheus Gowoseb and Selle Ochurub, Brazello was the toast of the girls at the Welwitschia High School where he honed his football skills and became a master architect of the then much-adored acrobatic kick (Acro). Those who could not execute the scissors kick with some kind of aplomb were simply regarded as moegoes, period! But he was the boy from Dolam people thought was playing with cutters attached to his legs.
By Carlos Kambaekwa
Born on November 13, 1953 in the Old Location, Sebulon “Brazello” Haoseb cannot recall when he exactly started chasing leather, rather saying that he has been chasing after the inflated pigskin for donkeys’ years.
Lime many boys his age, Brazello’s football career started with street soccer, playing with the likes of Eric Hanstein, Moses “Moles” Owoseb, and the late Kamundu Horaeb in the dusty streets of the Old Location.
The quartet graduated from street soccer to Pirates’ (Dolam) second strings and went on to become household names with the Gold and Black outfit in later years.
However, it was at Welwitschia High School in Khorixas that Brazello really came to the show with some exciting displays that turned Welwitschia into a feared combination.
Upon his return, Brazello teamed up with his old teammates at Pirates and played alongside Zero “My Hero” Haoseb, Christian Obeb and Ou Sky.
Perhaps the most gifted footballer in the somewhat abbreviated history of Pirates, Brazello acquitted himself well in a team that was notoriously known for taking no prisoners when it came to 50/50 ball situations and widely feared for their bone-crunching tackles.
Pirates was an ordinary team with piles of average players and many football pundits are of the opinion the Dolam-based outfit could have been statistics long ago had it not been for the outdated league rules, which did not make provision for relegation from the elite league despite the team’s habitual mediocre showing.
Keen not to jump from the frying pan into the fire, Brazello would stay put and never succumbed to advances from the likes of Orlando Pirates, Black Africa and Ramblers Katutura, who all sought his signature.
“Pirates was a family entity and there was no way I could abandon a sinking ship with my relatives on board – I was prepared to go down with my folk because one’s entry into the Pirates’ family was cast in stone, just as simply as that,” recalled Brazello.
Despite his team’s indifferent performance on the pitch, Brazello’s name was always amongst the first to be called out whenever a Central or South West Africa Invitational Eleven was selected.
Strong in the tackle and also comfortable with the ball at his feet, it was his breathtaking antics on aerial balls that earned him accolades from the hard-to-please football fans in the Kassie.
Brazello would always lurch himself into the air to execute his trademark scissors kicks – “Acro” – the township definition of the acrobatic kick.
He used to play his part in attack as well, particularly with his strong runs into the box and scored a good number of memorable goals with powerful headers from set pieces.
Brazello made up for missing out on silverware at Pirates by rubbing shoulders with renowned footballers in the mould of Jomo Sono, Ace Mnini, Ace Ntsoelengoe and Kaizer Motaung while representing the then South West Africa Invitational Eleven against the visiting Kaizer Eleven, Orlando Pirates (SA) and Morocco Swallows.
“I used to be an automatic choice in the starting lineup of any local Invitational Eleven but in those days there were also much better players than me and guys like Albert Louw, Ambrossius Fyff, Doc Hadley and Oscar Mengo were in a class of their own.”
Not content with a seemingly empty trophy cabinet – Pirates’ decided enough was enough and took out her frustrations on poor Martin Kehrmann, who happened to officiate a league match involving Pirates where the Dolam boys found themselves at the short end of the stick with results not going their way.
The players exchanged their shooting boots for boxing gloves, albeit temporarily, and gave Kehrmann a thorough hiding on a chilly Sunday afternoon at the Showgrounds in 1980.
Pirates’ indiscretion cost them their status in the league as football authorities would not take kindly to their unbecoming behaviour and handed the Dolam outfit a life ban from all organized football activities.
With Pirates having gone to the dogs and already in the twilight of his football career, Brazello sought refuge at neigbouring Orlando Pirates where he played for a further two years before hanging up his soccer boots for good.
“Soccer was much better in my days, we had better players and the league was very competitive and despite a much improved administration in modern football, the quality on the playing field is extremely worrisome.
“We just don’t have match winners anymore. There is a serious lack of individual flair and until such time players start expressing their god-given talent on the pitch and stop acting like robots, the numbers at the turnstiles will become thinner by the day.”
Brazello believes modern footballers lack the required physique and are not dedicated to the game of football.
He still watches matches in the domestic league football, but the Pirates/Black Africa derby is the only event on the football calendar that possesses the potential to revive some memories of the past.
Pressed to choose the best footballer of his generation between the late Hendrik “Doc” Hadley and Oscar “Silver Fox” Mengo, the 54-year-old self employed radiator expert has little hesitation and fingered Mengo as the greatest footballer ever to have come out of Namibian shores during his generation.
Though Brazello is currently not involved in football activities, “the King of Acro” believes he still has something to offer in domestic football in an advisory capacity should the need arise.