In a jubilant homecoming, the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors of Namibia returned yesterday, 31 January 2024 from their historic campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON] 2023 in Ivory Coast.
Exhausted from a lengthy journey but brimming with pride, the team was greeted with warmth at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
The airport buzzed with anticipation as the first group of players landed at 11:00, welcomed by a government delegation and members of the Namibia Football Association [NFA]. The second group arrived at 13:30.
The pinnacle of their welcome awaited them at the State House, where His Excellency, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, hosted a lunch to honor the history-making team.
His excellency, Nangolo Mbumba expressed honor in welcoming the team back home after their remarkable performance at Afcon 2023. “We thank and congratulate you for your remarkable efforts throughout the tournament. This lunch serves to show you our love and appreciation for a job well done,” he remarked.
In a heartfelt message on behalf of President Dr. Hage Geingob, referred to as the team’s greatest supporter, Vice President Mbumba commended the Brave Warriors as heroes who made history by defeating Tunisia and securing Namibia’s first-ever qualification to the round of 16.
Minister in the Presidency, Hon. Christine ǁHoebes, applauded the Brave Warriors, emphasizing their embodiment of true sportsmanship and the inspiration they have ignited in the hearts of millions across Namibia.
Addressing the team, Hon. ǁHoebes said, “You have represented our country with pride, humility, and commitment. Your passion for the game has ignited a fire in the hearts of many Namibians, fostering a sense of national pride that transcends beyond borders.”
Hon. ǁHoebes added, “May the spirits of the game lead you through your future endeavors.”
Minister of Sports, Youth, and National Services, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, celebrated the return of the Brave Warriors, noting the permanent marks their resilience and determination left on the nation’s heart. She emphasized that collectively and individually, the team showcased the real strength of Namibia, embodying values of determination, unity, and unwavering commitment.
Shimooshili, echoing the sentiments of the nation, commended the team for capturing the imagination of Namibians and urged the country to stand together in solidarity for the growth and strengthening of sports.
On behalf of his team, Head Coach Collin Benjamin expressed his gratitude, saying the event marked not just the celebration of their achievements but a collective acknowledgment of the national pride they brought back to the land of the Brave.