Who are Our National Heroes and Heroines?

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Who is a hero, and why is it that currently heroes and heroines are only known after their death? As the then Plan fighters who have stood firm and sacrificed not only in sweat but also in blood to water our freedom, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the Swapo President, Vice-President, national leaders, ex-Plan Commanders and indeed the male and female Plan combatants for having stood behind our Party vision and mission to courageously fight and defeat the most vicious regime in the history of southern Africa. Not only that, I am delighted to see that Swapo national leaders have managed to adopt and maintain the policy of national conciliation, a policy that has set a vision of a united Namibia from diverse societies. Who are the heroes and heroines of this country? And why, after 16 years after independence, is there no clear definition of who is a hero or heroine. Namibia’s history is characterized by historical pheromones of bravery, hence the title ‘Namibia, land of the brave? What are the characteristics of a hero or heroine? According to the Oxford Dictionary Tenth Edition, a hero is a person, typically man, admired for his courage or outstanding achievements, while a heroine is a woman admired for her courage or outstanding achievement I spend sleepless nights asking myself the following questions: Who are the heroes and heroines of this country? Why is it that we only come to know our heroes and heroines after their death and not while they are still alive? Is it taboo for one to be declared or honoured or recognized as a hero or heroine before death? What is wrong with our national leaders? Why are they losing their sight? Does this mean they do not admire our courageous and outstanding achievements, which we together scored during the bitter struggle for the liberation of the land of the brave? Who is supposed to admire us, to acknowledge our achievements, to recognize our commitments, and indeed to credit all former freedom fighters with an honorary liberation medal? It is an international standard that heroes and heroines are in different categories, i.e. politics, war, sports, business, agriculture, religion… the list go on. I am more concerned with the first and second categories. Apart from those political heroes and heroines who have sacrified their precious lives through political battles, we still have outstanding political heroes and heroines such as President Sam Shafihuna Nujoma, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Rev. Hendricks Witbooi, and many others. Unless we want to produce a fake or distorted history, there is no way you and I can write a series of political events without referring to Sam Nujoma or Andimba Toivo ya Toivo and many others. On the battlefront, many heroes and heroines have sacrified their precious lives, their blood has watered our freedom and national independence. They have achieved enormous success which every patriotic Namibian is proud of. It is an historical fact that you and I are living together with war heroes and heroines who, by virtue of their courage and outstanding achievements, deserve to be honoured and recognized for their brave victory during the war for national liberation. Recommendable criteria: In order to avoid being accused of favouring one against the other, the Swapo Party and the Government should introduce a medal which should be given in honour and recognition of your and my historic achievements during the war for national liberation. Criteria The much anticipated national liberation medal should be given to all men and women, the sons and daughters of the land of the brave who, despite all the difficulties they encountered during the implementation of Party instructions and directives, have stood firm and have dedicated their energy to the course for national liberation. The Swapo Government is also in a better position to procedurally amend the current Labour Act to extend the retirement age from 65 to 70, particularly if and when the retired staff are still energetic and competitive skilled officers. Who are the national heroes and heroines? History will judge me wrong if I do not courageously ask this question. In terms of politics, how much do we as a nation admire, recognize and honour the sacrifices which Comrade Andimba Toivo ya Toivo has made for this country and its people? I may be wrong, but I need to be advised. My inner voice is always telling me that history will judge us wrong if you and I do not credit Comrade Toivo ya Toivo with the honour he deserves for what he has done for this country and its people. Believe me, history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be set aside or ignored. If we as Namibian patriots do not admire our own achievements, who should do it for us? What credit can the land of the brave and its people give to Comrade Andimba Toivo ya Toivo to honour his noble achievements? Namibia and her people will remain guilty in the eyes of the world if we do not act now, before it is too late, to be seen willing to act. Nkrumah a. Mushelenga

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