‘I had many dealings with Geingob’ – Tjingaete 

Dr Fanuel Tjingaete. File photo

The late president Hage Geingob was instrumental in the formation of the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWC) in the quest to produce professional boxers.

Talking to Desert Radio recently NPBWC founding chairman Fanuel Tjingaete said the late president Geingob played a pivotal role in the establishment of the boxing and wrestling control board when he was still the country’s prime minister.

As Namibians bade farewell to the Republic’s third president, Tjingaete said that he met the late president in Lusaka, Zambia during the liberation struggle when Geingob was the director of the United Nations (UN) Institute for Namibia.

“I was one of the first batch of students admitted by the institution. That is where I met him and spent quite a reasonable amount of time with him.”

“I had many dealings with him when I was appointed the first chairman of the boxing and wrestling control board because he was somebody I knew for a long time since Zambia.” 

“Following the formation of the boxing and wrestling control board, Namibia has produced a few world boxing champions with Harry Simon being crowned the country’s first world champion.”

Tjingaeta vividly remembered the night Simon became world champion having defeated American Winky Wright to clinch the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight title on 22 August 1998 in Hammanskraal, South Africa.

“It was the memorable time as we celebrated the victory throughout and we danced the night away and the late resident Geingob witnessed that memorable victory as Simon put Namibia’s flag on the international stage.”

Tjingaete said the United Nations (UN) Institute for Namibia in Lusaka had refugees from across the continent and as far as Uganda. 

“Those were turbulent times and I did not know what was going to happen,” he said.

“Zambia was full of refugees but I must say that Geingob worked tirelessly in preparing the students to one day become professionals in the administrations of government in the republic of Namibia,” noted Tjingaete.

Tjingaete said the late president had a way of encouraging athletes, especially when boxers paid courtesy calls to his office while he was still prime minister.

Geingob will be laid to rest on Sunday at the Heroes Acre but his final memorial service will take place tomorrow at Independence Stadium where Namibians are expected to pay their final respects to the man loved by many.     

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