By John Ekongo
Condolences for the late Chris Hawala started pouring in early Monday morning at the offices of the Namibian National Student Organisation (Nanso) in Windhoek West. Hawala was the vice-president of the student movement.
Various well-wishers and sympathisers converged at the office of the student movement to pay their last respects to the “big short man” as the diminutive but dynamic Hawala was known by peers in the youth socio-political structures.
Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Willem Konjore on Monday morning was the first amongst quite a number of high-profile youth leaders to sign a book of condolences, which was opened in honour of the late student leader at the premises.
In the presence of relatives of the late Hawala, Konjore described Hawala as a “son of the soil, who despite his tender age has made a meaningful contribution to the youth of the country”.
“It is a Namibian dream cut short,” revealed SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary General Elijah Ngurare.
“The man was a very young man, but with so much hope and promise to have fallen so early it was a shock. A dream was cut short – a Namibian dream was cut short,” repeated Ngurare
“Our condolences to the family of Hawala, their tears are our tears,” added Ngurare.
South African-based Namibian youth activist Sydney Ganeb, who worked with Hawala said: “Let’s not mourn the loss of Comrade Hawala, the man has lived his life and with no regrets. At his age, his achievements are all over, and we can draw lessons from his death.”
Hawala was a well-known figure in the socio-economic structures of the youth, at times having exceeded the expectations of friends and foes with his insight and impeccable reasoning and application of the mind, earning him the nickname “small dynamite”.
Hawala was killed instantly when the vehicle he and two other occupants were travelling in collided with a kudu several kilometres outside Tsumeb. The beast landed on the left passenger side where he was seated – the animal landed on his chest.
The other two occupants have been released from hospital and are back in Windhoek and well on their way to recuperating, according to Neville Andre, the secretary general of Nanso.
A memorial service for the late student leader is planned for Thursday in the capital, and on Friday the body of Hawala will be transported to his hometown of Okahandja, where he will be buried next to his mother who passed on four years ago.
His body is still with authorities where a post-mortem is being carried out and is only expected back in Windhoek some time tomorrow.
Hawala was also member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NYC. He will be buried on Saturday in Okahandja.