By Anna Shilongo
Hundreds of mourners flocked to the Pionierspark cemetery on Saturday to pay their last respects to Matthew Elago, who passed away on January 08. He was 58.
Mourners included parliamentarians, business personalities, friends, and former and current employees.
Speaking at his memorial service on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said the late Elago was a member of the Swapo Party who supported the party financially and physically. Elago contributed to the economy and his commitment will go down in the country’s history, she said.
“Elago’s death is not only a loss to the family but to the entire Namibia because of his outstanding contribution towards the country’s economy. I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to the entire family,” she said.
“He was a man of his word who had great passion; he worked tirelessly to demonstrate his commitment and at the same time, he created job opportunities for many in the country.”
Utoni Nujoma expressed his deepest sympathy to the Elago family on behalf of the founding president. Nujoma described the late Elago as an icon of the Namibian business world.
“Comrade Elago will be remembered by the current Namibians and the upcoming youths for his hard work, commitment and dedication to the country’s economy,” said Nujoma.
He urged Namibians to emulate the example of the late Elago who invested his time and fortune in the country.
“The late Elago has done so much for the country, for his people as well as the country’s economy,” said Taraah Shaanika, who spoke on behalf of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the business community.
“He was a hard working man, he identified business opportunities in the country and delivered quality service to his people,” explained Shaanika.
Elago’s markets were all over Katutura, and he is one of the businessmen who survived the hardships of the colonial era.
“To many of us, he was a true friend, comrade and a colleague over a period of many years and his death is a severe blow to all of us,” said Shaanika.
The Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, also described the death of Elago as a blow to the nation, adding that it will be hard to replace the commitment of Elago.
“On behalf of the Namibian police and indeed on my own behalf, I express our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the bereaved family in this sad moment of sorrow and bereavement. We shall never forget what he has done for us,” said Ndeitunga.
The late Elago facilitated transport to the Namibian police as well as accommodation for members in uniform.
Elago will be remembered as a hardworking, successful businessman and farmer with good business ethics.
Most of the mourners spoke greatly about him and noted that he had generally contributed to the economy of the country as well as the upliftment of the living conditions in many areas.
He also contributed to the county’s struggle for freedom and independence.
He is survived by his wife Sarah, also a business personality, parents, eight children and five grandchildren.