Tales of the Legends – an Unsung Hero – Joseph ‘Mynhardt’ Tjauha (1954 – 2014)

Omuzandu ua Katoorua

FOR many years there has been a chorus of naysayers who believed that sports clubs should be strictly administered along tribal lines. However, there was this easygoing dude who had other ideas and who went to great lengths to pull the rabbit out of the proverbial hat by almost single-handedly achieving the unthinkable.

Generally, sports and football in particular, creates opportunities to travel while allowing athletes to expand their horizons. Former African Stars and Blue Waters beanpole centre forward, one Joseph-Mekahako Tjauha aka Mynhardt or better still Roynie, as the gangling striker was affectionately known among his vast circle of friends never really managed to unleash his full potential on the football field, but certainly did his part off the pitch. An unsung hero, Roynie is one man who deserved to be accredited for having fostered closer ties between formerly fierce rivals African Stars and Blue Waters football clubs in the 70’s. Literally a jack-of-all-trades Bra Roynie was a rock music diehard affionado during his formative years serving as a roadie (non-playing band member) for local pop ensemble, the Baronages. In today’s edition of Tales of the Legends, New Era Sports pays tribute to an unsung hero as we mourn and at the same time celebrate the abbreviated life of Bra Roynie, who exited the game of life on the 29th of last month after losing a long battle with diabetes.

WINDHOEK – Without any lingering doubt the late MynhardtTjauha was one of the most promising footballers ever to emerge from the Old Location’s Ovambanderu section. A ball juggler of note, the towering forward started playing the game with Fire Stars, a small club from his neighbourhood where he teamed up with Dr Kaire Mbuende, Karoorora Toromba, Otto ‘Move’ Kahiuoua, Colly Hoveka, Ben-Kavitundema Toromba, Lesley Kozonguizi, Zoo Tjikuzu, Boas Kazao, Tier Hoveka, Mike Murangi and Dawid Kavaka under the stewardship of Stigga Kozonguizi. Some of the abovementioned footballers have long gone the way of all flesh, while others are still around different fortunes having befallen them.

It is high time that many footballers from Windhoek’s Old Location to whom the game owes a massive debt of gratitude be acknowledged. Bra Roynie’s untimely departure provides us with the ideal opportunity to relate to you the reader the some aspects of the story of his life, some amusing and others truly chilling. Barefoot as he used to go, always bumbling but blessed with a great sense of humour, Mynhardt arrived at St Barnabas in the Old Location in the late 60’s after he was expelled from the Renische Herero School. The unorthodox tallish and skinny boy immediately made good friends with most of the toughies at the school. His impact was felt in the short exhibition football games during intervals where he showcased his football talent with a great measure of virtuosity.

Together with many of his buddies in the neighbourhood of the notorious Vark Straat, Katutura, Roynie joined the newly formed Windhoek Defenders FC under the guidance of South African construction migrant, one Robert Myungula. He was a founding member of a team of youngsters Morokko FC where he played alongside Barminas ‘Sunny’ Vetira, Edward ‘Futuma’ Seraera, Vazuvara ‘Nobby Stiles’ Hambira, Boas ‘Mboroto’ Herunga and the Nependa twins Adam and Joseph. In later years Roynie teamed up with other talented young footballers from the neighbourhood to call into life Windhoek City, where he partnered the great Oscar ‘Silver Fox’ Mengo in attack. Roy of the Rovers

His nickname Roynie, derived from the British comic strip ‘Roy of the Rovers’, about the life and times of a fictional footballer named Roy Race, who played for Melchester Rovers. The comic strip first appeared in the Tiger in 1954, before giving its name to a weekly (and later monthly) comic magazine published by IPC and Fleetway from 1976 until 1995, in which it was the main feature. The weekly comic strip ran until 1993, following Roy’s playing career until its conclusion after he lost his left foot in a helicopter crash. When the monthly comic was launched later that year, the focus switched to Roy’s son, Rocky, who also played for Melchester. This publication was short-lived and folded after only 19 issues. The aentures of the Race family were subsequently featured in the monthly Match of the Day football magazine, in which father and son were reunited as manager and player respectively. These comic strips began in 1997 and continued until the magazine’s closure in May 2001.

Football-themed stories were a staple of British comics from the 1950s onwards, and Roy of the Rovers was one of the most popular. To keep the strip exciting, Melchester was either competing for major honours or struggling against relegation to a lower division almost every year. To come back to Roynie, despite his amazing football talent and brilliant first touch he never really managed to break into the first team when he joined forces with Katutura glamour football club African Stars while a student at Augustineum High School, where he also turned out for Windhoek City. After all, who cares, Roynie was a valuable member of a group of elite footballers who plied their trade in the lower division with distinction. Footballers in the mold of the late charismatic Tigers centre back Spagherro Shikwambi, General Angala, Max van Wyk, Zambia Motola, Kandas Paulihno, Pierre Janeiro, Magic Mamarigane, Moses Moss, Squash Kapuka, Justice Basson, Moripe Jekonia, Nicky-Boy Mokomele, Oubaas Pogisho, Shabby Rukero, Aore-Axab and his equally lethal striking partner Jonathan, were all household names in the highly competitive second tier league. Rynie’s football prowess took him to coastal outfit Blue Waters FC where he featured for the Birds’ second strings. His sporadic flirtation with the seasiders eased tensions between the Birds and Stars to the extent that the two clubs unintentionally started to alternate playing personnel whenever the need arose. The likes of Theu Amadhila, Riva Jekonia, Julius Stephanus, Boy-Boy Ndjadila, Jomo Nakanene, Costa Lucas, Marques Kamuserandu, Britho Shipanga, Munjanda Muaine, Kaputji Kuhanga, Pule Tjombe and Freddy Kauzuu all featured for both teams at different intervals following in the footsteps of Charles Kauraisa, Mburumba Kerina and Oscar Norich-Tjahuha. Those in the know maintain Roynie played an influential role to foster that relationship, which still exists to this day. Off the field of play, the author will be failing in his duty if he does not reveal a nasty incident that unfolded on a particular night in Katutura’s Donkerhoek location in 1978. Fleeing from the Herero section for fear of possible reprisals for being Swapo members in the aftermath of the assassination of the Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero, Clemence Kapuuo, which sparked a bloody tribal war between the Ovaherero and Oshiwambo people – Mynhardt and his trusted buddies Mboroto, Futuma and others gathered at Immanuel Muatara’s residence in Claudius Kandovazu street enjoying the good times at a Swapo fundraising event. There was this bulky dude who did not approve of Mynhardt and company’s presence. He ordered Silas Nuyoma in no uncertain terms to remove what he felt were undesirable guests and as much as Wangaa tried to explain to the bouncer look-alike dude that the brothers were fellow comrades, the enraged dude would have none of that. Without any provocation he charged with brutal and deadly intent and started whacking his unsuspecting target (Roynie) with a heavy stick all over his body. It emerged that his uncontrolled anger had nothing to do with politics, but was rather triggered by his roving eye for the victim’s gorgeous girlfriend and wife to be Tabethe. Fortunately he emerged from the ordeal in one piece after much coaxing and appeasement of bouncer-like dude and the incident remains etched in my memory as an example of tolerance and diversity in one. Roynie died 47-days after celebrating his 60th birthday and will be laid to rest at the Pionierspark cemetery, south of Windhoek on Sunday. My dear brother, until we meet again Kaende Naua! May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Source : New Era