It is not easy to find words to mourn the late Cde Theo Ben Gurirab. To me he was an embodiment of wisdom, a national library of Namibian liberation folklore, a mentor, a diplomat par excellence, a voice of reason and an approachable leader. During exile days he was “international service” of the Voice of Namibia, a megaphone of the voice of liberation.
After independence, he became, not only a founder member of our constitutional order but a staunch believer in the supremacy of our national constitution above all other considerations.
The minute I heard of the sad news of his passing on, a flashback of my interview with him at the Voice of Revolutionary Ethiopia in 1983 immediately came to the fore. In that interview, he said something that stuck in my mind, and always reminds me of his internationalist credentials.
He said, then, that “The struggle for the total independence of Namibia is inextricably bound up with the struggle against the pernicious ideology of apartheid in both Namibia and South Africa”.
This stuck in mind over the years because Radio Freedom, the radio service of the ANC, religiously and repeatedly played that quote in their programmes week in week out.
Now one more national library is closed, another voice of wisdom has been silenced. We can only pay homage to his lofty ideals by emulating his selfless leadership life style.
Dr Charles Mubita
PhD: International Relations