As the news spread like wildfire on Friday evening one could not help but wonder how the political icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo suddenly passed on as he seemed so well and fit during his last public appearance last week Monday.
Ya Toivo gave a public address during the 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba last week Monday as a patron of the Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association, where he said he looked forward to discussions on how the two countries can jointly help bring an end to the economic blockade and the return of Guantanamo Bay to the people of Cuba, which is currently under US control.
At the age of 92 (he would have been 93 in August), Ya Toivo entered the venue unaided for his address alongside President Hage Geingob. He calmly took his seat and listened attentively to various speakers while his chance to speak approached. When his chance arrived, Ya Toivo took his speech and delivered it. One could not but stop to admire him reading so well and so many delegates were seen mumbling about his good eyesight – of course taking into consideration the font was made bigger.
As a journalist I obviously got to the office to write my article. Since he only had a hard copy I called his mobile phone but he didn’t pick up. I therefore decided to send him a text hoping he would read it and email me the speech as I provided my email address.
Thereafter, I promptly received an email from his twin daughter, Nashikoto, saying: “I am one of Tate Ya Toivo’s daughters, my father does not read text messages, he only answers phone calls and makes them. In the future please don’t hesitate to contact either my mother or myself for speeches etc,” she wrote. This whole conversation left me thinking that it’s a new chapter of good and fast communication when doing stories on Ya Toivo, as she provided her contact details as well as those of her mother.
Little did I know it would be our last communication and probably it was a way of saying goodbye.
May the soul of Tatekulu Ya Toivo rest in eternal peace.