Tales of the Legends – From Scourge to Gentle Giant – the Story of Edward Beukes

There is an old saying that when days are dark, friends are few – this old adage certainly applies to former Sorento Bucks FC giant shot-stopper and Black Africa diehard fan, Edward Beukes. Namibian football has always attracted and produced a significant number of colourful characters with some performing wonders on the playing field, while others were notorious for their on and off the field shenanigans. Bra Ewert, as the beanpole Ted was known amongst his buddies used to be an ever-present figure at organized dance gatherings at the Katutura Community Hall in the old days.

By the way the moniker Ewert, is not a corruption of his name Edward, but a nickname he earned on the soccer pitch to celebrate the legendary Kaizer Chiefs chief administrator and astute talent scout Ewert ‘The Lip’ Nene, who was later to die a violent death in South Africa. Bra Ewert used to make it his sole beat to harass unsuspecting music revelers at night – only to rock up at local football matches the next day throwing his huge frame around and would sporadically invade the pitch questioning referees’ decisions and threatening to take the law into his own hands. After all, his residence was in close proximity of the Community Hall and Bra Ewert felt some kind of entitlement to be treated like a township king, demanding exemption from coughing up the entrance fee and as if that was not enough, revelers were ordered to part ways with a few dollars by way of a protection fee. That was Bra Ewert for you.

But as fate would have it Bra Ewert was struck by a speeding taxi driver, while stationed on the pavement in front of his parental home on Katutura’s Independence Avenue, changing his life profoundly. The freak accident in 2010 left the self-confessed, fun loving Bra Ewert with multiple injuries, including an amputated right leg, partial paralysis and occasional memory loss. New Era Sports visited the wheelchair-bound gentle giant at his home and here is his story. |

WINDHOEK – Edward is a product of Katutura, an uncompromising toughie and streetwise dude in the real sense of the word. He was among a very few blokes who could claim a certain measure of ownership of the kassie, at least his neck of the woods. After all, he was born there in 1963. Despite his huge, imposing frame, Bra Ewert was a hyperactive lad trying his hand at all kinds of things, including his trademark scary Mr T haircut.

A staunch Black Africa supporter, he started playing football at the A.I. Steenkamp Primary School in Katutura before he graduated to playing in more organized structures with the then newly formed Sorento Bucks FC in 1976. Bra Ewert shifted between the sticks and was a fearless shot-stopper with the exciting youthful outfit, which had the cregraveme of de la cregraveme of young footballers from the Damara and Nama sections of the Katutura township in their armoury. The likes of Axab Gowaseb, Lucky Richter, Gruzi Goseb, Wagga Goagoseb and Botsotso Nanub all made their mark with Sorento Bucks before joining Orlando Pirates, Black Africa and African Stars. Bra Ewert played his part in Sorento Bucks’ participation in the popular Central Namibia Football League (CNFA) under the stewardship of Namibia’s hippy look-alike football guru Bobby Sissing in 1980, which led to the team’s subsequent presence in the country’s combined elite league in 1986.

The same year, he joined the South West Africa (SWA) Provincial Force (army) at Luiperdsvallei and took just a year before he was drafted into the combined army football team to represent his native land in the annual South African Army Games in Durban. Edward was converted to centre back and his rock steady defense helped the team to finish in a respectable 7th overall position out of 12 teams. His arrival in the force was to change his wayward behaviour and brought some kind of relieve to those who lived in constant fear of him, whenever their children were sent on errands to purchase groceries at the Central Shops aka Big Shops (Groot Winkels), where Bra Ewert reigned supreme.

His rehabilitation in the defence force coincided with Namibia’s independence in 1990 and by the time Bra Ewert walked out of the army – he was a completely different character. His regular presence at local football matches added spark to the beautiful game as he made his presence felt, shouting his lungs out in support of his beloved Black Africa Football Club. However, his love for the game that took him beyond the borders of his native land in 1987, was abbreviated prematurely by an alleged drunken taxi driver, who plunged into his huge frame, while he was relaxing outside his parental home on Independence Avenue on that fateful night of September 03, 2010, depriving him of a leg and confining him to a wheelchair partly paralyzed and speech impaired.

His footloose longtime girlfriend and mother of his three children (2 deceased) walked out on him after the ordeal, prompting his elder sister Elizabeth to resign from her work in order to take care of her beloved brother. Nowadays, the lonely wheelchair-bound Bra Ewert spends most of his time in the backyard of his home and occasionally wheels himself on the short journey to the nearby Central Shops to spend some time with his old buddies. “It has been very tough for him, because he is a fun loving person and loves to be with people but since the car accident, most of his friends disappeared,” reveals his distraught sister Elizabeth. She however reserved praises for madam Hansina Hinda, a family friend. “She is so far the only person who cares about my brother’s plight and would always drop off parcels of food and other commodities when the need arises. He wants to go and watch his favourite team in action, but nobody bothers to come around and pick him up.”

Source : New Era