Divergent to the superfluous fears of the beneficiaries of the ruthless apartheid regime of yesteryear – when we advocate for immediate transformation in sport we don’t mean taking A and B away from my ‘white friends’, the previously and still advantaged Namibians, but we are merely calling for the urgent implementation of policies and systems that will bring about a level playing field for all.
As I have emphasised on countless occasions, if Namibia is serious about addressing the burning issue of transformation in sport, then we should be fearless and unapologetic in calling a spade a spade, and a spoon a spoon, and make sure we fully apply the wrath of our laws to bring about the desired change in Namibian sport.
By definition, transformation is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Unlike ‘turnaround’ (which implies incremental progress on the same plane) transformation implies a basic change of character and little or no resemblance with the past configuration or structure.
You see, as per its mandate and the powers vested in it by our country’s lawmakers, the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) has the rights and authority to investigate, seek clarity and uncompromisingly demand justice if the laws and norms governing sport in this country are contravened by a sports code – irrespective of who the accused or victims are.
My problem with most of these so-called ‘white sport codes’ is their thinking that transformation is all about increasing the number of players of colour in their various set-ups, and hoping the nation will be satisfied with the window-dressing. To that, it’s a very big NO!
What we, as concerned and peace-loving Namibians want, is a clear road map defining how these players of colour will be purposefully nurtured and developed alongside their white colleagues, while being accorded the same opportunities to further their god-given talents.
My demand is to see tangible outcomes at elite level for players of colour and not just their being thrown into the system and vanishing after a few years of frustration and mistreatment. I say if Namibia is seriously to achieve true sporting excellence, transformation and high performance must become mutually exclusive.
While times demand of all Namibians to unwaveringly fight against inherent prejudice and smatterings of institutional racism, it is equally important and expectant of all Namibia’s citizens to do and think long-term, as that is the only approach that can lead us to tangible transformation that will leave a lasting legacy for all Namibian athletes.
That’s why I’m calling for policies and systems that will blatantly expose those culprits that are so hell bent on wanting to protect a system that has failed and continues to rob Namibia of potential world beaters in various areas of sport. Policies and systems are the only way to give everyone an equal opportunity to achieve excellence. Until next time, sharp sharp!!