Windhoek-Namibians so often treasure the historical icons, such as Marcus Garvey, George Washington, Albert Enstein, Fidel Castro and others, but often fail to recognise and respect its own heroes such as the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
“Too often we forget to recognise, respect and honour our own heroes, champions, giants, gurus and legends,” said Dr David Namwandi when he recently paid tribute to the family and other mourners at the residence in Windhoek of the struggle giant.
He consoled the struggle icon’s widow Vicky and other family members, saying, “Not very often in our lifetime do we have the opportunity to sit at the feet of great legends, to walk in their footsteps, to live with them, laugh with them, work alongside them and to listen and learn from them, their experiences, their travails, their failures, trials and their triumphs.
“We hear so often, and treasure so much the lives and memories of great icons, like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Indira Ghandi, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Antonio Agostinho Neto, the list goes on. But too often we forget to recognise, respect and honour our own heroes,” the former education minister said.
“Fellow mourners, let me say this straight, simply and directly that history will never forgive us and will judge us harshly, if we fail or forget to recognise our legends and to honour their memories, lives and legacies,” stated Namwandi. “It’s a pity that more often than not, we wait for death to bring us together, and for death to bring this intrusive paradox into our nations’ consciousness, why?
“We have many legends living today among us, they are even seated here tonight. Let us not wait for death. Let our historians, anthropologists, journalists, professors, researchers and technocrats write our own history for posterity to know the facts, the sacrifices, the struggles, agony and the blood that waters our freedom,” he suggested.
“Our history must never and never again be written by our oppressors and strangers, as it is not their history and we may never know and hear the victim’s real story,” he told mourners.
“Today, this week, next week, and in the years to come, We, Namibians, Africans and the world will recall this moment, and we will remember this great icon, Comrade Dr Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo. Andimba is a legend no less equal in stature, significance and substance than those I listed before.”
He said ya Toivo was unique in many respects, above all in the simplicity of his lifestyle. He said the fallen hero never exploited other Namibians and did not seek to swell his pockets at the expense of others, nor did he strive to amass wealth for himself or his family.