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Former football star now farmer and bank man


WINDHOEK-BORN former Liverpool and Civics midfield kingpin Killian ‘KK’ Kavari is one of a rare breed of Namibian footballers who managed to score a goal at the Stade Tata Raphael, in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in 1993.

The stage was the first round of the African Cup Winners’ Cup against the might of the DRC and one-time winners DC Motema Pembe, which saw the former Namibian cup champions annihilated 6-1 in front of a partisan crowd of 80 000.

“Now that was a real baptism of fire, and having been our first time playing in front of such a massive crowd, the nerves were gone. Those guys attacked us from the word go, and our defence was under constant threat right until the final whistle.

“It didn’t seem like we were going to come out with a goal until we started to regain our composure midway through the second half. It turned out to be a personal triumph for me when I rattled their net for what was our consolation goal,” Kavari says.

Among other teams, he has played for the former Tigers and national team sharpshooter-led TransNamib FC in the predominantly white Amateur Soccer Association.

“I then felt it was about time that I start mingling with the big boys, and I joined Okahandja-based Liverpool with the formation of the new Namibian Premier League, where I enjoyed a very successful career by winning almost everything at stake in local football.

“Liverpool were a very ambitious team with an excellent mixture of young and highly experienced players. We were really a force to be reckoned with, and it was never easy to play and win against us – especially at the home grounds at Okahandja,” he says.

Kavari, who was comfortable to play any position in the team, won the Namibia Football Association Cup in 1992, followed by other successes in the BP Top 8 Castle Classic cups, before he famously lifted the league championship trophy in the 1991/92 season.

“Winning the league with Liverpool was special for me, because I played my best football in that season. My efforts were recognised after I was named player of the season by the league,” he says.

His team was, however, relegated two years later, which prompted the hard-running midfielder to join Civics, who went on to dominate local football for three consecutive leagues, a feat which was only bettered by Katutura giants Black Africa, who won four uninterrupted titles.

Kavari also had to consider offers from two Katutura giants, Tigers and Orlando Pirates.

In fact, he even trained two days with the Sea Robbers before former Brave Warriors midfield genius Johannes ‘Congo’ Hindjou convinced him to join him at the Civilians.

The gifted midfielder, who’s game was built on stamina and endurance, says he has played many memorable matches, but one particular encounter for Liverpool against serial-cup winners Chief Santos during the Black Africa tournament stands out.

“Everything leading up to that match was just not in my favour. I didn’t train with the team for the entire week, because I was working until late, and I couldn’t attend team practice at Okahandja, where the team was based.

“To make matters worse, I even arrived late for the pre-match team talk, and our coach, Jamanuka Tjihero, told me I was not going to play. However, with the team trailing 1-0 with only 20 minutes remaining, technical adviser Noree Kaanjuka suggested to the coach to play me,” he says.

What followed afterwards was unforgettable, because Kavari grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

He went on to play the best 20 minutes of his life by first scoring the equalising goal, before his shot resulted in Santos star Mohammed ‘Slice’ Ouseb deflecting the shot into his own net with his chest for an own-goal to secure Liverpool a 2-1 win.

Kavari’s heroics could, however, not prevent his side from losing the final to hosts Black Africa.

He left Civics in 2008, and went on to spend two seasons with Ramblers, before he hung up his boots.

Despite his match-winning antics on the football pitch, the retired star was only capped three times by the national team.

He played two matches (home and away) against Botswana, while he also engaged Swaziland in the Cosafa Castle Cup in Mbabane.

WORK, FAMILY

Kavari has seven children and is currently employed as a reconciliation officer by Standard Bank, where he has been working for over 20 years.

He is also a part-time cattle farmer at Otjinene village in the Omaheke region.

“My duty is to reconcile payments during importing and exporting to ensure the accounting system reflects the correct transactions,” he says.

He says one of the biggest challenges of his job is when a new teller messes up.

“The policy of the bank is to make a profit while selling foreign currency, and at the same time trying to buy currencies for as little as possible. However, sometimes a new teller, who is not used to the exchange rate, would do the wrong deal for the bank. I must clear those errors,” he says.





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