By Kuvee Kangueehi Gobabis A well-known business personality and community activist, Adam Ngunovandu McLeod, was laid to rest on Saturday at his plot a few kilometres outside Gobabis. Hundreds of mourners, including former Prime Minister Hage Geingob, DTA parliamentarian McHenry Venaani, Nudo Vice-President Tumbee Tjombe and various traditional leaders and senior government officials attended the funeral. Paying tribute to McLeod – the father of the Governor of the Omaheke Region, Laura McLeod – Geingob said the late Adam McLeod had contributed to the independence of the country. Geingob said McLeod had assisted the Founding President Sam Nujoma as well as himself and many others to cross the border into Botswana. The former Premier said that as McLeod knew the area very well, he advised them on where to go and what to do. He said McLeod covered them with a blanket on his truck and drove them to Buitepos. At the border, he advised them to run the rest of the way – four kilometres – to gain entry into the Botswana territory. “He told us not to rest or ask for water from anybody and only to run until we got to a cattle post which belonged to Herero-speaking people.” Geingob noted further that McLeod had also played a significant role during the 1961 Augustineum High School strike. He said that during the strike, which was politically motivated, McLeod offered to provide transport to the girls to come to Windhoek while the boys marched on foot from Okahandja to the city. “McLeod provided his truck to transport the girls, and we marched and handed over the petition.” After the students had handed over the petition, they met with black leaders and raised funds to enable all students to go back to their regions. He said McLeod again provided transport and took all students to their destinations from the south to the north. Geingob also delivered the official message of condolence on behalf of the Head of State, President Hifikepunye Pohamba. McLeod was born August 12, 1919 in Botswana after his parents fled the Ovaherero genocide in the years 1904-1907. He came back with his parents while he was still a baby, and they moved to Omaruru, where they initially came from. McLeod started his primary education at a local missionary school a few years later, furthering his education to become a qualified teacher. He started his first business at Keetmanshoop where he worked as a translator in the magistrate’s court. McLeod later moved to Windhoek, and was the first black man to own a bus. He later opened up businesses at Aminuis as well. During his stay at Aminuis, he built a house for the late Ovaherero Chief Hosea Kutako for free. He informed the community of Aminuis that a chief could not live in a mud house, and it was a brick house that he built for late Chief Kutako. McLeod later also built a church in Gobabis, the one where his memorial service was held last Thursday. The former teacher and well-known business personality died in the afternoon of January 24. McLeod, who had suffered frequent bouts of asthma, was declared dead when he was brought to the hospital in Gobabis. McLeod had 27 children, four of whom predeceased him. He is survived by his wife, Suko McLeod, and the other 23 children – 10 girls and 13 boys.
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