Tales of the Legends – Tribute to a Departed Hero Kaboy ‘Varkie’ Shovaleka 1964 – 2014 [analysis]

In today’s edition of our weekly feature on sports icons, Tales of the Legends, New Era Sports takes a closer look at the abbreviated life of former Blue Waters Football Club centre back Petrus Shovaleka, better known as Kaboy among his circle of friends.

Born in the northern town of Otjiwarongo in December 1964, he spent a great deal of his formative years in Luumlderitz after his old man was banished from Otjiwarongo to Kolmanskop as a result of his g political believes and uncompromising activism. In 1973 young Kaboy started his primary education at the Diaz State School in Luumlderitzbucht, but after five years the family retreated to the Copper Town where Kaboy was to conclude his primary education at the Opawa Native School in 1979.

The likeable ansd softspoken Kaboy went on to pursue vocational training and obtained his National Technical Certificate (NTC IV) from the Okakarara Technical Institute in 1988 after he successfully completed his apprenticeship training. He obtained his trade diploma in electrical theory and trade practice and qualified as an electrician in 1990, while he also completed a number of short courses in his chosen field of study. On the 10th of January this year Kaboy’s life was tragically cut short when he perished in a motor vehicle accident after a head on collusion between Tsumeb and Otavi in the wee hours of the morning.

TSUMEB – Like many boys his age at the time, young Kaboy was nuts about football and would play the game at any given time although he never really played competitive football at any level during his younger days as a result of his inflated frame, which eventually earned him the name ‘Varkie’. “Kaboy grew up in Tsumeb and although he loved the game he was not an active footballer like his peers, because he was hopelessly too overweight. He used to frequent our training sessions (Santos) and was literally a ball boy during those days,” recalls former homeboy Conrad ‘The Horse’ Angula. “We were actually taken by surprise when he resurfaced at Blue Waters as a polished centre back partnering Ranga Lucas in the heart of the Birds’ rearguard. He has certainly grown in leaps and bounds as a credible footballer within a very short space of time.” While at OTI and whenever he went to Tsumeb during school holidays, he turned out for a compound-based club going by the name of Black Tigers FC, which featured regularly in the popular annual Top 16 tourney in Tsumeb. In May 1980, Roumlssing Uranium Mine appointed Kaboy as a Shift Electrician in the Metallurgy Department where he worked with colleagues who were to become his close friends, notably former Blue Waters midfield general, Tuhafeni ‘Koko’ Muatunga, Ben Gonteb, the Elago siblings Max and Stanley, Bulla, Frans ‘Dumpie’ Mupupa, including many others. His interest in football took a different turn when he was drafted into the Roumlssing football team campaigning in the highly competitive annual Chamber of Mines Games where he played alongside the likes of Frank Fredericks, Malcolm Hendricks, Ben Gonteb, Koko Muatunga, Patrick Basson, Lucky Boostander, Amoni Victor, Jackson Meroro and some of the finest footballers in the business.

It was not long before he joined exciting Swakopmund outfit African Warriors where he played alongside the burly Max Elago, Tjimbinae Kahuure, Bana Erkana, Set Shituleni, Bernard Esau, Gervatius Arnat and Apere Shikololo amongst a horde of highly gifted footballers in the starting line up of the coastal outfit in 1983. His uncompromising defensive ability and bone crunching tackles caught the eye of coastal giants Blue Waters, who persuaded the fast improving defender to join ranks with the seasiders at the invitation of what would become his greatest buddy, Koko Muatunga. “I think he was in the thirties when he joined us, but he possessed good attributes such as excellent ball distribution, aerial power, timely tackling but above all, he was a tough nut to crack and never pulled out of 5050 confrontations,” recalls Koko Muatunga. Despite his obvious lack of experience in the tough and demanding rigours of topflight football – Kaboy walked straight into the starting lineup of Blue Waters where he was to form a steadfast defensive partnership with veteran defender Ranga Lucas, complemented by Enock Petrus and Britho Shipanga on the flanks.

His arrival at Blue Waters FC coincided with the formative years of the newly formed breakaway league, the Namibia National Super League (NNSL) between 1985 and 1990. The supreme league was very competitive attracting all the finest footballers available and those campaigning in the league considered themselves to be the ultimate finished product in domestic football.

In the meantime Kaboy was making steady progress in his working environment moving up the corporate ladder and could no longer combine his demanding work assignments with football and chose to hang up his boots, while still at the pinnacle of his flourishing football career. “In all honesty, he probably played for two seasons with us before he called it quits, because he was obliged to work night shifts and was unable to attend training sessions on a regular basis. He was a reliable defender although he was in the bad habit of scoring a couple of own goals,” laughs Koko. Like his buddy Koko, Kaboy never managed to lay his hands on any notable silverware during his abbreviated time with Blue Waters, but will be remembered as a fearless hard tackling defender who took no prisoners on the field of play.

Kaboy resigned from Roumlssing Mine in 1998 and joined forces with Nampol.

Apart from football, the much-sought-after bachelor demonstrated excellent qualities as a loving family man and was the proud father of seven children of which one predeceased him. He valued his children, family and work tremendously, including his close friends whom he showered with lots of affection and would always use friendship as an anchor for social progress and to share his profound humanity. A resolute peacemaker, Kaboy would consciously and deliberately avoid controversies for the sake of maintaining the peace and good order. “In the 30 years of a rewarding friendship, I cannot recall any day that he had been at loggerheads with anybody or falling prey to swinging moods. He never refused any reasonable request from a friend. Many shall forever remember him as a strict disciplinarian, a sports lover, a man of peace and humble fellow who did exactly what he told you, no two ways about it. “At personal level, Kaboy was deeply integrated into my family. Our friendship dates back 30 years ago. He was a real gentleman and a man of his own class, who only settled for top quality. I have lost my best man, a confidante. I have lost my only daughter’s godfather,” those are the words of his close buddy Fluksman Samuehl, former member of African Warriors F.C.

Source : New Era