Former Orlando Pirates Football Club teenage goal poacher Rudolf Dickson made waves with a flurry of goals that announced him as a highly-gifted youngster and the most likely and fitted potential successor for ageing club legend Ishmael ‘Lemmy Special’ Narib in what promised to be a smooth-sailing football safari, only to evaporate into thin air.
In essence, the much-adored afro-haired net buster who also enjoyed a successful spell with giant killers Sorento Bucks, never really lived up to his earlier jaw-dropping displays on the field that saw him capture the imagination of the neutral football fan.
Nevertheless, his impressive performance elevated him to a regular figure in the star-studded Ghosts’ starting 11, notwithstanding his fairly young age. New Era Sport caught up with the now-retired pop star look-alike forward, as he relives his abbreviated football journey.
The son of well-known Katutura upholsterer, the late Alfred Brinkman, and blood relative to Pirates’ long-serving team manager Dansy Dickson, young Rudolf was an incredible striker and serial net buster.
He made the art of goal scoring look like taking candy from an unsuspecting toddler. Given the scale of his achievements as a promising young centre-forward, without an iota of doubt, Rudolf looked destined for greatness.
Tellingly, with no shortage of confidence, the young striker hit the ground running with some eye-catching performances week and week out for the energised Ghosts’ locomotive. Always calm and composed in front of goal, he immediately endeared himself into the hearts and souls of the Buccaneers’ usually hard-to-please diehards.
Sandwiched by a galaxy of well-established stars such as dribbling wizard Norries Goraseb, veteran midfielders Gawarib Uirib, Ambrossius Vyff, pocket-size attacker Eben Ndjuella and devastating forwards Alu Hummel, Killer Kamberipa and Erich Muinjo, the new kid on the block had the foundation properly laid out for him to reach the peak of his game.
Being the youngest member of the squad and still wet behind the ears in terms of big match temperament, Dickson was not to be intimidated by his rookie tag, let alone his tiny frame. The new Pirates’ number 9 was quick out of the blocks, rattling the opposition’s net at will with breathtaking goals.
In no time, he was installed as the Ghosts’ main target man in only his debut season in topflight football, much to the delight of Pirates’ followers. Quick off the mark and with great footwork, the afro-haired goal attacker was not afraid to take on robust defenders head-on with his trademark cunning dribbling tricks.
He joined Pirates at the age of 18, whilst still a pupil at the Jan Jonker Secondary School in Katutura in 1980, and announced his arrival on the big stage with a well taken goal when the Ghosts defeated the visiting Wits University by a solitary goal (1-0) in a well attended exhibition match in Windhoek in 1980.
However, his romance with the Ghosts came to an abrupt end when he jumped ship, only to resurface at youthful Katutura outfit Sorento Bucks in the less-glamorous Central Namibia Football Association under the stewardship of football guru, the late Uncle Bobby Sissing.
His flurry of goals helped the team win a few knockout cup tournaments but a combination of loss of form, gross favouritism, and football politics forced him to prematurely hang up his togs whilst still at the pinnacle of his flourishing football career, bringing a sad end to an unfulfilled journey.
Ode to amazing basket rattler RIP Enginie Merlin Veindira Mberira 1986 - 2022
A dark cloud has befallen Namibian netball following the sad passing of one of the sport’s most recognisable faces on the courts. Afrocat’s wing attacker Merlin Veindira Mberira, famously known as ‘Vei’, has gone to meet her maker and to be reunited with her ancestors. She was 36.
A product of the historic unique town of Omaruru, holed up in the Erongo region, the cat-footed playmaker started rattling baskets whilst still a pupil at the St. Barnabas High Primary School in Katutura.
A very tough competitor, the versatile fast-as-lightning Vei, who operated as a wing attacker or centre on the netball courts, completed her secondary education at the revered A. Shipena High School in 2006 when she cemented herself as one of the most outstanding players in the school’s senior netball team.
At club level, Vei was a valuable squad member of the all-conquering African Stars netball team in 2010, before a successful switch to the newly formed Khomasdal outfit Bethlehem United, where she played for two solid consecutive seasons between 2011 and 2012.
After landing a post in the education ministry, Vei developed itchy feet and switched her allegiance to the portfolio ministry’s netball team, campaigning fiercely in the popular social netball league. In the meantime, she returned to playing competitive netball by joining forces with the ambitious Afrocat Lions netball side in 2018, until her untimely departure from mother planet.
Regrettably, despite her sustained consistency and amazing competitive edge, Vei could not break into the national side to represent her motherland internationally during her peak years. She was constantly kept at arm-lengths by the presence of the terrible trident of Anna Kasper, Delilah Keja and Menethe Muvangua.
Former national team and Civics’ uncompromising wing defender Uauaa Karijahuua-Tjituka, describes the departed Vei, as a phenomenal athlete on and off the courts. “Eish, we are utterly shocked, deeply saddened and devastated by her sudden death. Vei was a tough competitor, super smart and could effortlessly supply accurately executed killer passes to her teammates from tight angles.
“A very tricky opponent, especially in one-on-one situations, off the courts she was the most adorable and kindest human being with a golden heart and an incredible sense of humour. She was always in the habit of cracking jokes, laughing loud, enjoying life to the fullest and loved chilling after a tough battle. May her precious soul rest in power,” narrated a misty-eyed Karijahuua-Tjituka.