What they said about Ya Toivo


Liberation struggle icon Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, who passed away on June 9, is scheduled to be buried tomorrow at the Heroes Acre in Windhoek. A lot has been said about him since his passing and below are some of the notable quotes.

“The icon of the Namibian struggle and national hero Comrade Andimba Toivo ya Toivo is no more,” President Hage Geingob when announcing the death of Ya Toivo on June 9.

“Ya Toivo has taught us that the best inheritance we can bequeath is not of material, but memories. Servicing others is like nourishing one’s own soul,” lawyer Joshua Razikua Kaumbi.

“He was quite militant. He wanted very little to do with whites, with the [Robben Island prison] warders,” Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“The history of Namibia will be incomplete without the name of Ya Toivo,” former PLAN commander and Retired Major-General Charles Namoloh, now safety and security minister.

“Our village as small as it is, it is the mother and father of this great man who suffered in the name of the liberation struggle. We are glad that he was one of us, he left a legacy that we are proud of,” Martin Elago the headman of Omangundu where Ya Toivo was born.

“Papa could never understand when young people would identify themselves by their tribes when asked what they are. He always said we were Africans first and Namibians second,” daughter Mutaleni ya Toivo.

“He was a friend to both children and adults, but the man was just too stubborn,” personal friend and Retired Bishop of Anglican Church Shihala Hamupembe.

“While we are saddened by Andimba Toivo ya Toivo’s passing‚ we celebrate his life and longevity and the lessons learnt. Comrade Toivo … chose to continue on the path he set out‚ rebutting the claim that the [former colonial] South African government had legitimacy over him and other Namibians‚” former President Kgalema Motlanthe.

“It is very important for us to celebrate his life and legacy, his footsteps were here during the struggle and I know it was for a purpose,” //Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson.
“He was very stubborn but with mama (Ya Toivo’s wife Vicky) we worked out strategies on how to approach him about certain things,” Philemon Nahum (adopted son).

“We should learn from a man of his calibre and young people should be disciplined if we want to keep our freedom and peace,” Swapo //Kharas regional coordinator Matheus Mumbala.

“As we marshal Toivo ya Toivo to a Heroes Acre filled with a rich trove of memories, we have learned from a humble master-teacher. It is the opportune moment to reflect on the ruptures that we must set in motion in order to build on the ideal of the nation – one for which he was stubbornly prepared to die,” Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari.

“Ya Toivo was one of the foundations of the Swapo Party. He was an honest and kind person who never compromised his principles,” Secretary of the Swapo Party Elders’ Council, Mukwaita Shanyengana


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