Death has struck the Namibian sports fraternity for the umpteenth time as locals awoke to the sad news that veteran sports journalist Corry Ihuhua, has exited the game of life, aged 42.
The articulate and soft-spoken sports scribe, died peacefully on Monday in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Katutura Hospital in Windhoek, after a short illness.
His departure from Mother Earth follows shortly on the heels of former well-known sports scribes Moses Tunuu Kandjoze, Dave Salmon and Sakarias Karon, who have joined the likes of Donbaldt Shipanga, Kuiri Kaomo Kahorongo, Nelson Tjerije and many others, whose lives were abruptly abbreviated before they could unleash their full potential.
One of very few trained media practitioners in the dog-eat-dog industry of journalism, Bro Corry, a likeable and fearless pen pusher, started his career in journalism with the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa).
However, he only rose to prominence when he joined the Namibian newspaper as sports reporter. Filing the big shoes of veteran sports journo Conrad Safari Angula, aka ‘the Horse’ was never going to be an easy task. Nevertheless, Corry’s uncompromising stance, punctuated by sheer bravery, courage and honesty carried him through many a troubled river.
A true gentleman in the real sense of the word, Bro Corry’s customary wry smile and casual approach certainly belied his astonishing level of organic intelligence, cousined by an unorthodox style in which he would often pose tricky questions to intimidating sports officials.
He was to endure dozens of threats of physical abuse by sports officials, whom he dared put to the sword of his often venomous pen, but Bro Corry would not budge.
In today’s special edition of your favourite sports feature, Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport will divert slightly from featuring athletes, as we’ve resolved to use this platform to pay a fitting homage to our departed colleague, Corrie Ihuhua.
Back in the day, sports reporting was regarded as a sacred territory reserved for privileged white writers only, and although the tough and inhuman laws were relaxed slightly – allowing darkies to write articles about football – it was not until the inevitable arrival of a seasoned journalist by the name of Karim Martheze.
Bra Karim, a self-professed Muslim and fearless writer from the Mother City, Cape Town, was roped in as a sports scribe for the now-defunct popular English daily paper, The Windhoek Advertiser, in the mid-80s.
He was to completely change the landscape of sports writing by moving out of the locker rooms as he started delving into the sickening politics and blatant discrimination so prevalent in Namibian sports, conveniently designed to discriminate against athletes of colour.
The stocky Capetonian’s presence opened the door for many dark-skinned sports scribes to enter the trade vigorously, with the likes of Conrad Angula, Sebastian Kamungu, Don Shipanga, Cecil Nguvauva, Gebby Uamburu, Dan-Boy Ndjadila, Boet Mathews, Katrina Gowases and others all entering the fray.
Now, Corry reminds the author of Karim, a man driven by an uncompromising urge of principle and immense sense of integrity in the discharge of his designated assignment. His manner in seeking the truth gifted him the courage to confront unscrupulous sports officials, often landing him in hot water with some of the self-proclaimed sports heavyweights.
In some quarters, Bro Corry was considered an undesirable person, labeled a bad egg, hellbent on destroying those particular sporting disciplines the aggrieved officials were peddling. Despite all these threats, Corry’s uncompromising stance earned him applause and plenty of admiration from his peers in the media industry.
Unlike many local sports journos who specialise in football only, Bro Corry’s was a Jack-of-all-trades, so to speak, as can be attested by the stylish fashion in which he would report and analyse various sports codes, such as cricket, basketball, hockey, boxing and athletics to mention but a few.
To demonstrate his amazing writing skills and valuable expertise in the sports industry, Bro Corry spread his wings further and became a noted TV presenter – anchoring the live broadcast of the popular weekly football programme ‘Off Side’ on One Africa TV.
After seven years at the helm of The Namibian newspaper sport pages, Bro Corry eventually parted ways with the institution, taking a much-deserved sabbatical from sports writing – only to resurface at rival newspaper, The Namibian Sun as an assistant editor, shadowing another former Namibian newspaper protégé, Festus Nakatana.
Next stop was the weekly English publication, The Villager, deputising as news editor for Confidence Musariri. Nevertheless, Bro Corry was not a saint and would sporadically find himself on the crime sheets of his detracters.
On many an occasion, the brother would find himself at the receiving end of NFA aecretary general Barry Rukoro’s sharp tongue, but Corry would not give a dime.
As in any normal life, we all have some unpleasant episodes in our lives that we would prefer to keep from public scrutiny, but the author is obliged to revisit a particularly nasty off-the-field incident involving my departed colleague, Corry. My broertjie, my bra…
The brother had fallen head over heels in love with a Zimbabwean lass by the name Sheryl, who by sheer coincidence also happened to be a noted sports writer.
Bro Corry and his sidekick became increasingly inseparable and only had eyes for each other until the gorgeous young madam met her beau in the shape of a tall goatee-bearded Belgian migrant. His name was Tom Saintfiet, whose looks resembled that of a movie star.
However, Bro Corry did not take kindly to the unfolding chapter that threatened to abbreviate his blossoming romance with the Zim chick. In a fit of jealousy, and understandably, the jilted lover resolved to unleash with all the might of his venomous pen on Saintfiet, then head coach of Namibia’s senior football team, the Brave Warriors.
It needed the divine intervention of football officials and fellow scribes, including this author, to calm the brother down – advising him to move on and forget about his unfaithful footloose bird. Sheryl and Tom have since tied the knot.
Bro Corry, until we meet again in heaven, may your gentle soul rest in eternal peace in one portion. Kaende Nawa my outie!