Namibia: On the Spot With Muna Katupose

interview

SIMPLY put, Muna Katupose is a living legend. His goals that took Namibia to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ghana and 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) immortalised his contribution to the Land of the Brave.

Sadly, the veteran striker missed out on the latter competition but he has a myriad of memorable exploits to reflect on.

Here are his career highlights.

Q: Who was your sports hero as a child?

A: My hero was Ronaldo, the Brazilian internationally and locally it was my big brother Kuzavi Bongi Katupose, who was a brilliant player. He inspired me a lot and I think he is one of the best players our home town Opuwo ever produced.

Q: Who was your best teammate?

A: I played with many top players. The likes of Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko, Quinton Jacobs, Collin Benjamin, Rudolph Bester, Heini Isaacks, Ronald Ketjjiere and Tara Katupose (Muna's twin brother) to name few. But if I have to pick at least two, it has to be Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko who was a talented player, cool under pressure and knew how to read the game.

The other is Quinton Jacobs. I remember the first game I played with him for the Brave Warriors away to Ethiopia and he was telling everyone that 'if you don't know what to do with ball just give it to me'. There were moments I wish I was in the stands watching him play. He was brilliant and smart.

Q: Who was the best player you faced?

A: I've played against some of Africa's best like El Hadji Diouf (Senegal), Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Michael Essien (Ghana). Take your pick.

Q: Who was the best coach you played under?

A: I played under many good coaches, the likes of Ricardo Mannetti, Ronnie Kanalelo and Collin Benjamin. But my best coach was the late Ben Bamfuchile from Zambia. May he continue to rest in peace.

Q: What was your most memorable competition?

A: It is 2008 Afcon and 2018 Chan qualifiers. The match against Ethiopia when I scored the winning goal which qualified the Brave Warriors to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana 2008. Then, the match against Comoros when I scored two goals that led Namibia to its first Chan tournament in Morocco. Those are the moments I will cherish for the rest of my life. Sometimes, I just sit and wonder how it happened, but that's history for Namibian football.

Q: What is the highlight of your career?

A: Apart from helping our country qualify for continental tournaments, playing at Afcon 2008 against some of the world's best players is a big highlight. I'm really honoured to have this story to tell my children one day. I remember the game against Ethiopia, I was on the bench with my twin brother and I told him and Letu Shatimwene that when I get on, I will score the winning goal but they both just smiled.

And then I went on and I did just like I told them. I told Dynamo [Fredericks], Tebe (Teberius Lombard) and [Hendrik] Somaeb the same thing before the game against Comoros. The funny part came after the game when my twin brother got all the credit because people did not know the difference. He even started limping as if he was injured during the game and he was just going along when people give him credit.

Q: The lowest moment of your career?

A: Missing out on Chan in Morocco due to injury. After that Comoros game, I went to Highlands Park FC in South Africa for two weeks' trials and everything was going very well and they told me I'll sign after the Chan tournament. I came back to Namibia to prepare for Chan and finish the league as I was playing at Unam at the time. I got injured against Young African and everything just collapsed, my dream of playing in the Chan tournament and in the PSL [SA Premiership].

Also, I was very disappointed after being part of the team that qualified for Afcon in Egypt last year and having sacrificed everything for the nation you get dropped for the tournament. It's really heartbreaking.

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