Around 200 inhabitants of Ovinjange Village in Epupa gathered at the homestead of Kunene Governor Angelika Muharukua on Saturday to pay homage to her late husband.
Kenatjironga Festus Muharukua, who was an advisor to the former Governor of the Kunene Region, Josua //Hoebeb, lost his life in March when his car was swept away by a flood at his home village.
The loss was felt across the Kunene Region, where Muharukua had fought for the rights of marginalised people, it was said on Saturday. A teacher by profession, Kenatjironga encouraged the people of Kaokoland to embrace education, his daughter Jenelly Matundu said.
“He contributed a lot to the community. He was one of the educated people in the community and he helped marginalised communities by encouraging them to study hard. He also assisted students of Kaokoland in Windhoek with accommodation. He always reminded them to take education seriously,” Matundu said.
One of the mourners who attended the commemoration on Saturday, Rex Sheehama, was among those who worked closely with Kenatjironga Muharukua. Sheehama said Kenatjironga got on well with everybody, despite his quiet personality.
“He was an implementer, who also had an interest in turning the Kunene Region into a Swapo stronghold. He went all over the region recruiting people to the Swapo party,” Sheehama said.
The Kunene Governor said she had called the villagers together to commemmorate the life of her husband, noting that she could not do it earlier, as she was coming to terms with her loss. An emotional Muharukua told villagers that her husband was deeply committed to their family and the people of the region at large.
“I console myself with the Holy Bible,” she told fellow villagers and used the opportunity to thank everybody who stood by her following the loss of her husband. “I extend my gratitude to all people, including Comrade President [Hage Geingob], for being there for me,” she said, before proceeding to lay a wreath at her late husband’s grave at the homestead.
The event was not without lighter moments: the assembled villagers socialised through the night with drinks, meat and stories of times gone by, as they came to terms with Kenatjironga Muharukua’s departure from this world.
The solemn occasion was graced by visitors who traveled from as far as Okahao and Katima Mulilo. Ovinjange is situated 15 kilometres north of Opuwo.