Amupanda on the collapse of Namibian football
In 1912, German Philosopher Edmund Husserl began a series of work, at the University of Gottingen, that would later develop into what became known as the phenomenology movement.
This movement brought a different way of studying philosophy. Husserl saw phenomenology as having to do with “the systematic reflection on and study of the structures of the consciousness” that manifest itself in acts of consciousness. In accessible language, we understand phenomenology, in philosophy that is, as the study of the structures of experience and consciousness.
An in-depth study of phenomenology will lead to a discovery of its unique novelty; it is ability to go beyond what is regarded as ‘objective research’.
Indeed, phenomenology does not only study the consciousness but the content of the conscious; judgements, perceptions and emotions are not ignored in phenomenological research.
By studying and analyzing daily human behaviour and experiences, phenomenologists argue, one get a greater understanding of nature. Although there is no time to enter into details, phenomenology place a particular emphasis on intentionality, intuition, evidence, noesis and noema, and empathy and intersubjectivity.
That we are living in a degenerating society is something many are not willing to admit. Part of the problem is that in public discourse we have a hierarchy of issues that qualify as public concerns.
A scandal like the collapse of football does not immediately become a concern in mainstream public discourse. This is exactly what phenomenology rejected; all experiences of human beings matters.
For once, as we learn from phenomenology, let us learn and recognize the judgements, perceptions and emotions of those to whom football is everything. Indeed, how do we analyze the collapse of football using these categories; intentionality, intuition, evidence, noesis and noema, and empathy and intersubjectivity?
To be able to do this, let us first, in a phenomenological fashion, bring to the fore as aspects many ignore about the state of affairs under this column discussion; the collapse of football. Below is what many do not realize.
With youth unemployment standing at 60% football used to be a source of employment for many youth. What this immediately mean is that youth have lost their source of income. Football is not like politics where people who are 80 years can still be in office.
No team wants to play a 45-year old. Football is a youth affair. It then goes without saying the collapse of football actually means a loss of time and prospects.
The opportunities of being noticed by international teams have also been put on ice. The collapse of football can thus be understood as career sabotage.
Given that football does not require tertiary qualifications, and statistics has it that only few Namibians have tertiary qualifications, football was an opportunity to escape criminal activities and thug life.
The collapse of football basically means that criminals, who would otherwise be busy with football, would return to criminality.
There are thugs and criminals who used to take a break from their criminal activities to go watch football. The collapse of football means that this break will now be utilised for the criminal enterprise.
It must be noted that this column does not submit that football is for criminals. Many football fans are not criminals but good people. The point here though is to notice the role football plays in reducing crime.
Consider, and indeed remember, what it would mean and happen when there is a game between African stars and Tigers.
The Sam Nujoma Stadium will be full. The women that sell meat, cold drinks, hotdogs and all other food items during the games would sell their goods at the stadium. In most cases, the food finishes and these women would return happy and ready to feed their families and pay school fees for their children.
In fact, there are people whose survival depended on selling food at soccer stadiums. There are young men coming all the way from Havana who would walk around the stands to sell sweets, biscuits and Boerewors to football fans.
There are many other businesses that takes place there. It is not just in Windhoek. It is the same with the Omaalala based Oshana Village League that has also collapsed.
It would give opportunities to young entrepreneurs and women who would sell at Mvula football stadium. It is the same in Gobabis, Rundu, Walvis Bay and everywhere.
Because of the collapse of football all these opportunities have been denied to our people. How insensitive the self-serving elites eating at restaurants is something they don’t realise.
What is clear, football being generally a youth affair, is that the youth must take over football and answer the own questions. Elders do not value football.
It is for this reason that Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo, scandalously so, has not spoken clearly on what his ministry would do to address this matter. Think about what would happen if the following days are to be cancelled; Independence Celebration and Heroes day.
If they had their way, politicians would even seek the arrest of this columnist for merely painting such a scenario.
It would simply not happen because the elders in power value what is associated with their generation. Those who disagree must explain why the politicians refused, and continue to refuse, to include their own of springs as part of the benefit regime provided for by the Veterans Act.
That our country would allow things to get this far cannot merely be understood from the perspective of the elderly who do not care about the young and a total indifference to those at the lower level of economic sphere.
It can also be understood from a perspective of our inability to understand the shame and scandal this lack of leadership brings to us as a people.
Although not independently verified, this columnist would not be shocked if it is to be confirmed that there are only three countries without operational football leagues in Africa; Somalia and South Sudan. The third country is Namibia. Somalia and South Sudan are countries at war. Namibia apparently has ‘peace and stability’.
What a scandal!
Job Amupanda is a political science lecturer at the University of Namibia where he is also a Deputy Dean. The views expressed herein are solely his and not those of his employer.