WINDHOEK – One of Namibia’s most adorned footballers of all time and former Brave Warriors defensive midfielder, Razundara ‘Rassie’ Tjikuzu, is a man on the verge of realising his long-term dream of “giving back to the community what football gave me, by helping upcoming local footballers realise their dreams of becoming professionals”.
Tjikuzu, who in recent years experienced his fair share of off-the-field trials and tribulations, has embarked on a new life journey and, as he recently put it in an exclusive interview with New Era Sport, it is a journey of inspiring, uplifting and unleashing the full potential of aspiring footballers.
The 38-year-old retired Namibian international, who formerly plied his trade for German giants SV Werder Bremen, Hansa Rostock and Hamburger SV offensive right-back, is set to launch the R.Tjikuzu Sports Development, a sports development company that will venture into the management and nurturing of local upcoming footballers.
“Football gave me an opportunity to become someone in life and I believe through the establishment of this sport development platform, I will be able to help train and nurture young footballers through my experience and connections. Currently, I am involved with the Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) youth teams and through my involvement at SKW I noticed that these kids need more than just daily practice. They need intense skills training and exposure to different football tactics and technics. With the establishment of the sports development programme, I want to throw the net wider by taking more than 60 young footballers under my wings and hopefully connect them with my German and Turkish partners once their fully developed,” said the man who spent eight years at Werder Bremen and five years in the Turkish top division.
Tjikuzu plans to officially launch his company within the first two weeks of next month, and the venue and membership fees for interested parties will also be announced at the launch.
For Rassie, as Tjikuzu is affectionately known, it is not only about according youngsters an opportunity but it is also about bringing a new dimension to the local game, as currently all Namibian footballers aspire to play for a South African club as opposed to other parts of the world.
“If you asked your average player where he would love to play professionally, the first thing they mention is South Africa, but I believe it is high time Namibian players realise that it is possible for them to play elsewhere in the world. They have the potential to play even in Europe and it is very evident in the talent we see locally, but we need to change our mindset first. So through my connections in Germany and Turkey, I want to help our local players penetrate that space because South Africa is not the only destination,” adds Tjikuzu.
He remains only one of two Namibian footballers to have ever played for top European clubs and competed in European flagship competitions, with Collin Benjamin being the other.
While the blueprint and logistical side of things are done and dusted, Tjikuzu said he is in need of training equipment, training gear for would-be players and thus appealed to the corporate world and all good Samarians to assist in whatever capacity. For more info, contact Tjikuzu at 0812913250, 0852444123 or at email@example.com.