Without giving much away, Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua yesterday said the City of Windhoek (CoW) would consider naming a street after Namibia’s newly-crowned triple world champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, if that’s what it will take to fully and befittingly honour his recent achievement.
Just recently, Indongo again stole international headlines when he modishly dethroned former Scottish world champion Ricky Burns from the WBA world championship plinth to become the first-ever Namibian boxer to hold three world titles simultaneously: the WBA, IBF and IBO.
Prior to the mega victory over the veteran Scotsman over the Easter weekend at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland last December Indongo was the talk and toast of the global boxing fraternity when he introduced himself to the world via an emphatic knockout victory over Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky, whom he trounced with a looping left hook, which landed clean and divorced the Russian from his senses just 40 seconds into the first round to capture and combine the IBF super-lightweight world title with his IBO crown.
Appreciatively reflecting on Indongo’s Herculean achievements within such a short space of time, Kazapua – who was speaking during Indongo’s courtesy call to State House, where he was warmly welcomed by President Hage Geingob yesterday – said the CoW leadership on behalf of the residents was excited and proud of Indongo’s achievement and would not want such an accomplishment to go unheralded.
“From the side of the CoW, we are obviously very happy and proud of our new world champion. It is a very big achievement for the country and it’s only fair for us, as fellow Namibians, to celebrate and honour him. At the moment I cannot reveal what we have in store for Indongo, but what I can promise is that I will definitely engage my leadership and see how we can honour our champ.
“He is a son of the soil, born and raised in Katutura, so maybe it’s even fair to name a street after him. But we will soon communicate our decision,” Kazapua said, very much to the satisfaction of those in attendance. At the other end of the table, Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo also congratulated Indongo, but did not specifically mention any plans by his ministry to reward the country’s newfound sport hero, saying Indongo is a professional athlete and his ministry does not make provision for professional athletes, despite the nature of their achievements.
On the sidelines of the press conference, Indongo’s handler and Namibia’s leading boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias, expressed deep appreciation to President Geingob for warmly welcoming the champion back home and to Mayor Kazapua for sharing the CoW’s plans to hopefully honour Indongo.
Tobias was, however, somewhat dismayed by the fact that the line ministry did not have anything in store for the country’s new champion. “Look, I’m not saying give Julius money, a house or whatever, but I’m just cautioning against selective morality. The other day Johanna Benson won and she was rewarded and equally honoured and the same goes for the Brave Warriors for winning the 2015 Cosafa Cup.
“I’m not questioning those achievements, because these (Brave Warriors and Benson) are all great Namibians who achieved great things for the country, so my question is: why is it a different case when Indongo has just achieved something so great for the country? Why should rewarding a Namibian who has done something so big for the country now boil down to being amateur or professional,” Tobias queried.