Fredericks’ honourary statue still on the card

By Michael Uugwanga

It has been more than five years since cabinet declared that Olympic silver medalist Frank Fredericks would be honoured with a statue at the Independence Stadium in Olympia, Windhoek, but there has been no word on whether that plan is still on the table. Former Information Minister Stanley Simataa announced in 2018 that a statue for the country’s first Olympic medal winner would be erected at the national stadium.

Simataa, at the time, said the statue would be erected following the Procurement Act, which governs the procurement of goods and services in the country.

Before the emergence of paralympian female sprinter Johanna Benson, who won a gold medal in the 200m T37 at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and Christine Mboma, who won a silver medal in the 200m at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Fredericks was the only Namibian sprinter to have won a medal for the country at the Olympics since independence.

Fredericks, 56, earned four silver medals in the 100 and 200-meter sprints at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Simataa, who is no longer a cabinet minister, was quoted in 2018 as saying the specification of the statue will have to be met so that it does not fall with the slightest breeze.

“This is why, when creating this statue, we will look for people who can provide good value for money,” Simataa explained.

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