Keetmanshoop-DTA of Namibia //Kharas regional coordinator Charles Pieters says the late liberation struggle icon Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo gives true meaning to the word hero.
Paying tribute to Ya Toivo during a memorial service at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, Pieters said the word hero is often used to refer to everyone, irrespective of what they have done, but Ya Toivo gives good picture of what a true hero is.
“The term hero is thrown around too often, some may even say the word has lost its meaning, and yet when you see and are in presence of a true hero, you know it is people like them that give the word a meaning, “he said, adding “these are people who are willing to unselfishly sacrifice everything for the greater good, something bigger than themselves, and Ya Toivo is one such person.”
Pieters said the late Ya Toivo’s has done a lot for the country, and Namibians who are able to enjoy civil liberties in an independent Namibia owe a huge debt to Ya Toivo, and although they can never be able to pay him back, the best way to pay him back is to honour and celebrate his life.
“There is nothing any of us can ever do to ever fully repay this debt, but what we can do is honour and celebrate his life,” he said.
Also paying tribute to Ya Toivo on behalf of veterans was Ben Boois, who indicated that although the late Ya Toivo has passed on, a veteran never dies, as his legacy will continue to live on.
Boois said it is commissars like Ya Toivo that made sure that the freedom fighters did not lose hope, but kept to keep on fighting the enemy, and now that the struggle is over it is up to new commissars to lead the fight for the economic emancipation of the country.
“We won and we put up flags, but we cannot eat flags, we cannot be educated by flags, the fight for economic emancipation must now start, or it should have started,” he said.
Boois noted that the minds of Namibians are still colonised and there is a need for new leaders like Ya Toivo to come up and rid the Namibian people of individualism, tribalism and capitalism.
Swapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba said Ya Toivo was not only a founder member of Swapo and a pioneer of the struggle for Namibia’s independence, but an indefatigable freedom fighter, a pillar of strength and a political rock that exuded a spirit of gallantry, fortitude and selfless leadership.
“He belongs to a galaxy of selfless martyrs, a generation of principled, dependable and militant leaders of Namibian liberation struggle,” he said.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Swapo //Kharas regional coordinator Matheus Mumbala, Mbumba said to millions of people, Ya Toivo was more than just a man, as he was a symbol of the struggle for freedom, justice, equality and dignity not only in Namibia but throughout the world.
Residents of the //Kharas and Hardap regions joined the Ya Toivo family to celebrate Ya Toivo’s life, and speaker after speaker heaped praise on the icon for his humility, humble and selflessness.
The former Robben island prisoner died at his home in Windhoek on June 9 and will be buried at Heroes Acre on Saturday.