Boetie Fura: A Liberation Icon

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Described as a strong Swapo veteran of the liberation struggle, a man of true compassion and humility who went out of his way to assist others, the late Frans Kambangula will be remembered by many when he’s laid to rest at the Pionierspark Cemetery tomorrow (Saturday). Affectionately known as ‘Boetie Fura,’ Kambangula was one of the leading members of the Swapo internal leadership as the party’s secretary of transport. As a secretary of transport he was responsible for the vehicles of the party. At the same time, he is remembered for his strong stance against apartheid before independence whereby he had endured frequent arrests and imprisonment. “He spent many years in jail, due to his resistance against colonialism and was well-known in party circles,” said Ranga Hailkali for whom the late Kambangula was an uncle. Besides his involvement in politics, Boetie Fura ventured his fight though the church ranks of the Council of Churches in Namibia. (CCN) At the time the CCN was seen as motivational inspiration for Namibians to stand up against the brutal injustices of the colonial past. It was there that together with the late Nathaniel Maxuilili, the late Daniel Tjongarero and Minister of Trade and Industry Im-manuel Ngatjizeko and Congress of Democrats’ Nora Schimming-Chase that Boetie Fura stood up against oppression. He was a very firm but humble person and as an elder many people considered his encouraging liberation words of wisdom as a vibrant tool to face the repressive apartheid regime. “If you needed help or advice, Boetie Fura was there and here was a very fearless man because on many occasions he was in jail and frequently in hideouts pushing the liberation campaign,” said Aaron Mushimba, a close friend of the late Kambangula. Being quite a handy man during his days, Kambangula was very much involved in welding, mechanical work, fixing fridges and just considered ” a jack of all trades” . According to those who knew him well, he mastered the skill of being able to run a home cinema in his backyard where he showed banned Swapo movies of the liberation struggle, which in turn were also shown in churches and community halls. It was through such actions by veterans like the late Kambangula that the spirit of freedom was kept alive in the minds of people at the time. It fast became a popular activity and entertainment for those in the neighbourhoods. “He was the pillar of our time and he made us think very independently to fight for freedom. He was like an elder for us,” said Mushimba reflecting on the history of the Old Location. Mushimba used to stay three houses away from the late Kambangula in Donkerhoek, Katutura. About twenty years ago, Schimming-Chase met him at the CCN where they stayed as close friends. She remembers him as a “considerate, unselfish and compassionate peacemaker” who was always willing to help without expecting anything in return. “All of us must remember what he was, a father, comrade and friend and we must try to live the way he did,” added Schimming-Chase. Being very observant, sharp and a good advisor, the late Kambangula will always be remembered for his valuable contribution to the country’s independence today. His untimely death after a long illness of diabetes will be on the minds of many, especially those who knew him as a father, husband, grandfather, advisor, friend and one of the strong Swapo veterans. The late Kambangula who was born on the 1st of June 1937 passed away on Tuesday, May 2, 2006 and will be laid to rest tomorrow at the Pionierspark Cemetery in Windhoek. Later today (Friday) a memorial service will be held at the Macedonia Lutheran Church in Katutura. Kambangula is survived by his wife Petrina Kam-bangula, six daughters, one son and nine grandchildren. Coincidently, this son of the soil will be laid to rest on the same day on Saturday as leading Swapo figure, the late First Speaker of the National Assembly Dr MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Tjitendero.