Namibia had its personal share of remarkable soccer headers and former Benfica midfield star Mandume Licky Gideon was certainly one of them.
Born at Okakua village within the Ohangwena area, the sturdy midfield kingpin was separated from his twin brother and was despatched to stay together with his aunt at Tsumeb when he was solely seven months previous.
He began taking part in soccer within the dusty streets of the Soweto part of Nomtsoub township, earlier than he joined Black Shadows within the mid-70s, a crew comprising children from his neighbourhood. He then moved to the brand new location the place he performed for the Rickets.
He was a member of Opawa Main Faculty soccer crew with childhood associates Shimanya Kankunja, David Crockett Hangula and Shapange She-Pele Nehemia, and was additionally an acclaimed lengthy distance runner.
“The Rickets disbanded in 1978 and the trendy day Benfica was born, which me and most of my teammates joined. I used to be one of many two youngest gamers within the Benfica squad, with Reynhold Ronny Matias.
“I used to be solely 15 on the time however my expertise warranted me a spot in Benfica’s first crew. Our crew lacked the technical and tactical side of the sport, because of an absence of publicity and skilled gamers,” Gideon factors out.
Earlier than lengthy Benfica developed right into a formidable facet which might maintain its personal in opposition to the likes of cross city rivals Chief Santos, who had been the highest crew at Tsumeb on the time and Purpose Hunters from Grootfontein, which was later renamed Chelsea.
Gamers like Sakkie Zocks Hailonga, Ellis Cuba Sem, Jakes Mbandi, Gabes Hangula and Phillip Nyanya Shilongo began benefiting immensely from the teaching of the seasoned Boetie Louw and his youthful brother Hannes Louw.
Gideon, turned the standout participant for Benfica and his distinctive technical skill noticed him changing into probably the most wanted midfielders within the nation.
Even the pre-independence nationwide crew selectors took discover of the gangly Benfica captain and his excellent exhibiting through the regional league, and referred to as him up.
“My largest second in soccer got here in 1982 after I was chosen alongside the Chelsea trio Anton Orlando Damaseb, Eric Richo Francis and the late Daniel Items Damaseb for the nationwide crew to take part within the provincial Currie Cup in Durban, South Africa.
“We had been representing the Far Northern League. We had been a really robust crew and we made an excellent account of ourselves in Durban though we misplaced to a robust South African Defence crew within the semi-final,” Gideon recounts.
His choice to the nationwide crew additionally attracted curiosity from Windhoek groups and really quickly the free-scoring midfielder discovered himself with Katutura giants Tigers and relocated to the capital for one full season.
He discovered himself within the firm of captain incredible Mentos Hipondoka, sharpshooter Steve Haihambo, the dynamic Pule Uri-khob with whom he solid a formidable midfield partnership, his Tsumeb dwelling boy the acrobatic goalkeeper, George Pandike Ochurub and the midfield hard-man, Hofni Grey Uumati.
Nonetheless, his love for his Benfica drove him again to Tsumeb to share the experiences he picked throughout his time with the nationwide crew and Tigers with teammates again dwelling.
“In Windhoek issues had been fully completely different from what I used to be used to again dwelling at Tsumeb. At Benfica we didn’t have quite a lot of gamers with sound technical skill however what they lacked in abilities they complimented with sheer dedication and bodily energy.
“We had been in all probability one of many fittest groups within the then Namibian Nationwide Tremendous League on the time and we additionally had one of many hardest defences as nicely. We had been very match and we might outrun most of our opponents,” he says.
It was not lengthy earlier than Benfica received the Metropolitan Cup competitors in 1986 to change into the primary crew from exterior Windhoek to win a significant nationwide match after they noticed off cup kings Black Africa in entrance of a shocked Windhoek Stadium.
“That was my proudest soccer second. Black Africa had a really robust crew and so they had been feared in cup competitions however we had plans for them. We determined to not enable them to play their regular free-flowing sport.
“We marked their star gamers out of the sport. The directions had been to not enable the likes of David Fellah Snewe, Fortunate Bazooka Richter, the late Bernhard Kae Kapa Kae Diocothle and the masterful Rusten Sukhile Mogane sufficient time on the ball.
“We marked them very tightly and tackled them actual exhausting. I feel they had been intimidated a little bit bit from our physicality. Their participant (Diocotlhe) sadly broke a leg through the match and that will need to have been a really big setback for them,” he says.
Gideon has retired from the sport and he’s having fun with a quiet life together with his childhood sweetheart Nangula Gideon who he married in 1984.
The couple have 5 kids with Sakkie and Nathan Gideon following of their well-known father’s footsteps change into prime soccer gamers.
Sakkie was a star defender for Benfica whereas Nathan, who performed for Unam FC, was an integral a part of coach Ricardo Mannetti’s Courageous Warriors crew earlier than he was pressured into retirement by job commitments.
Gideon was till just lately employed by Indo Atlantic (also called CIC Namibia) as a gross sales consultant since 1979.
CIC is Namibia’s largest grocery company and Indo Atlantic is certainly one of their 5 gross sales divisions.
“I first began as a merchandiser. I used to be tasked to show merchandise on the market within the retail shops, in a inventive approach that will appeal to clients. However I used to be later moved to a gross sales consultant till my retirement just lately.
He was liable for Otjiwarongo, Okakarara, Outjo, Khorixas, Kamanjab, Usakos, Swakopmund and, in fact, Tsumeb.
“The work was very difficult within the sense that I needed to journey loads. I’ve been away from dwelling fairly often and the lengthy distances I used to journey began to take their toll. It additionally meant quite a lot of lonely nights in visitor homes.
“However that enabled me to place bread on the desk. I’ve loved my journey of 4 many years with Indo Atlantic. I’ve additionally come to fulfill and know lots of people via my job,” he enthused.
Gideon beforehand labored on the Namibian Breweries depot at Tsumeb whereas he additionally had a brief spell with the Shell Oil Firm.
He says now that he has extra time for his household and himself, he’s going to deal with his farm alongside the Tsintsabis-Tsumeb street, the place he’s rearing goats and cattle.
Gideon mentioned he performed his greatest matches in opposition to cross-town rivals Santos due to the rivalry between two of Tsumeb’s largest golf equipment.
“It was a conflict once we confronted Santos for very apparent causes as a result of we performed for satisfaction and the bragging rights. Santos was not a crew you could possibly be complacent with. You needed to focus and stay focussed 100%.
“I used to be anticipated to encourage my teammates by continually speaking to them and I needed to lead by instance by placing up a sterling efficiency. It was simply unlucky that their goalie on the day (David Gaeseb) needed to take care of my lengthy vary missiles,” he enthused.
He talked about former membership chairperson Issy Kahungi and president Eino Hauwanga because the individuals who had the largest influences on his profession and says he misses the powerful coaching periods and packed soccer stadiums, particularly the Independence Stadium.
Gideon advises younger gamers to be targeted on their sport: “Chorus from alcohol and try to enhance your sport. Commit your self to achieve the highest of your sport. It’s important to set your self targets in any other case you’re taking part in with none ambition,” he says.