Geingob treated national teams equally – Veii

Dr Vetumbuavi Veii. Photo contributed

Former director of sport Vetumbuavi Veii says the late president Hage Geingob did not differentiate when giving words of encouragement to the various national sport teams of Namibia.

While Namibians will this weekend lay president Hage Geingob to rest at Heroes Acre on Sunday, the late president is remembered by many in the sport fraternity for his unconditional love of sport.

Speaking to Desert Radio, Veii noted that though many are of the opinion that Geingob loved football, the late president paid equal attention to national teams whenever a team paid a courtesy call on him.

“He was very encouraging and excited whenever a national team paid a visit to State House or his office when he was the country’s prime minister,” he said. 

“I remember him traveling to Burkina Faso in 1998 when Namibia qualified for the African Cup of Nations where he went with the late Robbie Savage. All of us were surprised and excited to see him in Burkina Faso but it was indeed worth the trip as he went on to encourage the boys and make Namibia proud,” he added. 

“To be honest with you, he loved sport and used to go to different sporting events. He was very instrumental in the creation of the sport ministry when he was the prime minister.”

Veii revealed that when Namibia attained its independence in 1990, there was no ministry dealing with sport and Geingob as prime minister was instrumental in the creation of the ministry at the time.

He added that the most important thing the late president did when he was prime minister was to create different structures to sustain the development of sport in the country.

Veii said that at the time sport was micromanaged by the defunct national sport council which was replaced by the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC).

“It was through those structures that we are today seeing the development of sport and Namibia doing very well internationally,” Veii emphasised.

“That is the legacy that he will leave behind and the words of encouragement to the national teams were the same as he did not differentiate between male or female teams.”

Veii added that Geingob gave unwavering support to the sport fraternity and that all that he wanted was for Namibia to excel regionally and internationally in the different sport competitions.

Namibia’s late president will be laid to rest at Heroes Acre on Sunday.    

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