Namibia has over the past years produced a good number of noted net-busters, but none have captured the imagination of local football followers more than the lethal striking pair of Ishmael ‘Lemmy Special’ Narib and Pius ‘Garrincha’ Eigowab, aka Pele.
Both players were noted goal poachers with contrasting styles of play. While Lemmy had a damn good eye for goal, accompanied by amazing speed and dribbling skills, Eigowab was blessed with blistering pace and packed a decent shot in both legs.
What probably made the Grootfontein-born bow-legged striker a cut above the rest was his ability to shoot at full speed from tight angles.
Besides Lemmy and Pius, there were other dangerous strikers, such as Celle Auchumeb, Ben Kauejao, Orlando Damaseb, Siggy Anderson and Ace Tjirera, to mention but a few.
Whereas Celle can be placed in the same bracket as Garrincha, Ben possessed multiple qualities.
What the lanky striker (Ben) lacked in pace, he certainly made up for with a brilliant first touch, phenomenal positioning and vision second to one, whilst he was equally adept at using both feet effectively. Apart from Brown Amwenye – the African Stars target man was doubtlessly one of the finest headers of the ball when it came to aerial duals.
In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature, Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport goes toe to toe with two of the most celebrated strikers of their era in domestic football ‘Lemmy Special’ Narib and Pius ‘Garrincha’ Eigowab.
The eternal rivalry between Katutura giants Orlando Pirates and Black Africa dates way back to the mid 60s, as both football clubs came into existence in 1963 and 1964 respectively.
Narib was given the nickname ‘Lemmy Special’ after the popular South African Pennywhistle blower, who dazzled township Jazz revelers back in the day in Windhoek’s Old Location. Eigowab got his nickname from Kaizer Chiefs supporters after the great bow-legged Brazilian forward Garrincha.
Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekwa
Back in the day, hordes of football fans would squeeze their bodies through the turnstiles to watch good football dished out on the field of play.
In those days, each and every football club was blessed with one or two great entertainers and people would pay any kind of money to watch football matches at the old Katutura Stadium on the outskirts of Windhoek.
Eleven Arrows had the lethal striking pair of speedy winger Tommy Ushona and sharpshooter Gabes ‘Flying Fish’ Mupupa, Blue Waters had their own in Dacosta Phillemon and Lemmy Lazarus, Jungle Boys had //Nerab ‘//Noas’ Gariseb and Pirates (Dolam) had versatile veteran footballer Germain Tsigeib Gariseb.
The late Albert ‘Boetie’ Louw, pulled the strings in the middle of the park for Black Africa in those days, but it was not until the arrival of a strongly built bow-legged young centre forward from St Josephs Secondary School (Döbra) that the Gemengde outfit started to make their presence felt in domestic football.
Eigowab’s arrival on the local football scene coincided with the emergence of a good chunk of young footballers, as the old guard was phazing out – obliging many teams to undertake major transformations within their playing personnel.
Interestingly, Lemmy was a founder member of the exciting Buccaneers outfit in 1963 and has outlived many of his teammates from the Ghosts’ maiden squad. He went on to oversee several generations of players during a blossoming football career spanning to over two and half decades.
Bro Lemmy was amongst the very first local footballers to play professional football in South Africa at the height of apartheid. He rewrote the history books when he netted an astonishing tally of 12 goals in three exhibition matches against the visiting Kaizer Eleven at the old Katutura Stadium in 1969.
His goal-scoring prowess convinced the visitors to straightaway offer him a professional contract with the newly formed Phefeini outfit.
Here the fast-as-lighting Lemmy would rub shoulders with Kaizer ‘Chincha Guluva’ Motaung, Zoro Johnson, Ariel ’Pro’ Kungoane, Jerry Sadike, Gabriel ‘Tikkie’ Khoza, Buick Mwakati, Petros ‘Ten Ten’ Nzimande, Johannes ‘Ryder’ Mofokeng, Chris ‘Roll Away’ Ndlovu, Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe, Abednego ‘Shaka’ Ngcobo and Stanley ‘Screamer’ Tsabalala in the star-studded line-up.
Lemmy joined Chiefs almost at the same time as fellow compatriot, late Hermann ‘Pele’ Blaschke, and while the latter went on to become a hit with AmaKhosi fans and a household name in South African football, an assortment of niggling knee injuries and homesickness contributed to Lemmy’s premature return to his native land.
Back home, the rivalry between BA and the Ghosts continued unabated, as the two Katutura giants steadily raised the bar in domestic football.
Despite his fairly advanced age, Lemmy retained his place in the star-spangled Pirates starting line-up and in the 70s represented the strong Central Invitation Eleven on several occasions against visiting teams from neighbouring South Africa.
In the meantime, Eigowab led the South West Africa (SWA) Bantu Eleven to a historic victory in the bi-annual South African Provincial Impala Cup tourney in Johannesburg in 1974.
Unfortunately, injury kept Bro Lemmy out of the selection, but his team, Pirates, were heavily represented with no less than four players.
The quartet of inspirational skipper Steve ‘Kalamazoo’ Stephanus, Willem Eichab, Doc Hardley and agile shotstopper Japhet Hellao hoisted the Ghosts’ flag at the weeklong tourney, while the trident of Oscar Mengo, Asser Mbai and Kaika Kuzee represented African Stars.
Black Africa also had the same number of representatives, three, in the shape of Eigowab, Albert Louw and Safe Kuruseb, while coastal giants Blue Waters had Bonnetti Niilenge and Ranga Lucas in the squad. Brown Amwenye (Tigers) and Robber Chanties’ versatile winger Eliphas Sabatha were also in the mix of things.
Upon completion of the provincial tourney, Eigowab who scored one of the three goals in the 3-1 victory in the final against Northern Transvaal – Eichab netted a brace – and Mengo joined forces with Kaizer Chiefs, while the Orlando Pirates pair of Steve Stephanus and Doc Hardley went in the opposite direction, finding refuge with Chiefs’ Soweto-based rivals, Orlando Pirates.
After a short stint with the Phefeni Boys, Eigowab was transferred to Durban outfit African Wanderers where he made a name for himself, scoring goals as if they were going our of fashion.
In later years, Eigowab joined Swaraj in the Indian/Coloured Federation Football League before he returned home for short stints with Pirates and Sparta, respectively. Eigowab eventually hung up his togs, while Lemmy was still going strong and despite advanced age was still rattling the opposition’s net at will.
Bro Lemmy is one of those few athletes that take good care of their bodies and maintains a spotless clean life. he also kept a healthy distance from the Haya Water of Moag (booze), late-night parties and seductive lasses – hence he is the epitomy of good health.