Following vehement denials over the years by Cricket Namibia that there is an element of racism in the manner in which the game of cricket in Namibia is administered – the newly appointed CEO, one Peter Forster, has inadvertently admitted in an exclusive interview with Nampa that indeed transformation in sport is a shot from taking off.
Short on the heels of Forster’s shocking admission, the Ombudsman’s office issued a comprehensive report on its findings from a comprehensive report on transformation and discrimination in sport, punctuated by blatant racism in the annals of certain sport codes, predominantly the white-dominated sporting disciplines.
The author has for years been a critic of racism in Namibian sport, where athletes of colour are treated like second-class citizens in their birth land.
Once again, is it perhaps coincidental that the national newspaper, New Era Sport, was the only publication to publish the Ombudsman report, while the white-owned media houses resolved to turn a blind eye on issues of national interest?
Well, yours truly is not surprised, to say the least. After all, these are the same publications that point-blank refused to report about a nasty racial incident that unfolded right in front of their eyes when an extremely volatile and uncultured foul-mouthed rugby player, one Theo ‘Kwaaitjie’ Coetzee berated a black South Africa rugby player.
To be precise, Bro Kwaaitjie resolved to rechristen his opponent Patrick Mulumba, “n swart bobbejaan” in his native Afrikaans.
The particular ugly racial furore drew a massive public outcry with the influential Swapo Youth League and the National Sports Commission (NSC) also stepping in to demand a thorough investigation into the allegations of racism, whilst calling for action to be taken should the culprit be found guilty of any form of racial abuse.
The strongly worded report by Ombudsman John Walters also points to the serial inactivity of the dozing National Schools Sport Union (NSSU) for its apparent inability to integrate sporting activities at school level.
Now, can my learned colleagues at Cricket Namibia come out, swallow their pride and tell the nation what happened to the development programmes it claimed to have installed in all parts of the country if their newly appointed coach says its going be an uphill battle to develop and effect transformation in the absence of proper facilities?
By the way, who’s contracting whom now? I’m just wondering. As long as there are blokes – assisted by sections of the mainstream media who have made it their sole province to turn a blind eye on racism in sport – sports authorities in this country will have to scale a mountain Kilimanjaro if we are to completely root out racism and to a certain extent, tribalism, in domestic sport. I rest my case.