Abrahams’ final memorial set for Sunday

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Ottilie Grete Abrahams

Albertina Nakale

WINDHOEK – A final memorial service for the late Ottilie Grete Abrahams will be held on Sunday.
Abrahams, a Namibian social and political activist, educator died at the age of 80 in the Paramount Private Hospital in Windhoek due to ill health.

Her final memorial service will be held at the Gateway Centre, Corner of Florence Nightingale and Hans Dietrich Genscher Street on Sunday at 10h00.

Abrahams’s nieces, Esi and Afra Schimming-Chase confirmed the final memorial service to New Era yesterday. A church memorial service will be held at the Martin Luther Congregation, M U Greeff Street Khomasdal on Wednesday at 19h00.
A memorial service to honour her contributions to the social fabric of the Namibian community will be held at the Jan Mohr Secondary School, Aries Street, on Friday at 14h00.

Abrahams who was the late Norah Schimming-Chase’s sister, became politically active while studying in high school and university in Cape Town, South Africa, she joined the South West Africa Student Body in 1952 and later became active in the Cape Peninsula Students Union and the Non-European Unity Movement.
She and other activists formed the Yu Chi Chan Club, a secret Maoist organisation. In 1985, Abrahams founded the Jacob Marengo Tutorial College in Katutura.
Abrahams was part of SWAPO from 1960-1963.

She returned from exile in 1978 and immediately formed the Namibian National Nationhood Program, a consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations, working in the areas of education and agri-ecology.
Active in Namibian politics, Abrahams also spend many years as Chairperson of NANGOF, representing the Khomasdal Burger Vereeniging.

Known by many as a trailblazing feminist, she was integral in forming the Namibian Women’s Association (NAWA) in 1979 and took pride in the fact that it was an autonomous women’s movement independent of political parties.
In 1985, she founded the Jacob Marengo Tutorial College, a school for liberation run on the principles of Paolo Freire, which she continued to run as principal until two weeks before her death. In 1996, she represented NAWA at the first UN Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China.

Upon her return from China, she started the Namibian Girl Child Movement (GCM), believing that decolonisation of the mind and freedom from mental slavery has to begin at an early age. In 2000, the GCM spread to South Africa, and it continues its activities in both countries.

In later years, Abrahams realised the importance of early training for boys in gender equality and set up the Children’s Resource Centre, again in collaboration with her South African partners.
Her children, grandchildren, extended family, and many political children, and grandchildren she effectively raised across Namibia survive her.

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