Nuusita Ashipala &
ONGWEDIVA – A former bodyguard of Founding President Sam Nujoma has drawn parallels between the elder statesman’s role in leading Namibia to independence with that of the biblical Moses, who led the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea.
Nepando Amupanda, an aide to Nujoma since 1982 until the former President left State House in 2005, heaped praises on his former boss, who turns 89 tomorrow.
“I call him the Moses of Namibia,” Amupanda said in an interview with New Era.
“I call him that because he took and led from a dark and difficult [colonial]. He led from exile and we fought the biggest colonial master in Namibia and the whole of the continent,” he told us.
“Back then we could not go anywhere without a ‘pass’ from Ondangwa but now you get up, get your I.D. and if you have a car, you fill it up and drive straight to Keetmanshoop or Grünau
without intimidating questions. This is true independence.”
“We are playing with our independence – especially young people who should actually be preserving it well. We are setting people against each other, insulting people on Facebook, insulting elders. Let us take an example from the Founding Father, he respects everyone, whether young or old.”
Nujoma’s birthday bash, scheduled for his birth village of Etunda in Omusati Region, will be held under the theme ‘Building the Future Through Solidarity’.
Organisers, led by former Prime Minister Nahas Angula, say the theme seeks to unite Namibians towards the fight against social and economic injustice. For his last septuagenarian birthday, Nujoma returns to Etunda, where he was born on 12 May 1929.
Angula, chairperson of the Nujoma Foundation, which is organising the event, said the theme was deliberately chosen for Namibians to unite and hold hands for a better Namibia.
He said the theme was particularly also chosen to celebrate the life of the legendary Nujoma.
“If we are to win the struggle against poverty, marginalisation, underdevelopment we need unity and solidarity.
We are therefore, expressing solidarity with the unemployed young people, the old people and the workers,” Angula stated.
He said the birthday celebration also spares a moment to recall Nujoma’s bravery for mobilising and leading the Namibian masses through the bitter struggle of apartheid.
The main event will be preceded by ‘Ohungi’, a come-together at the fire place led by semi-retired politician Ben Amathila who will lead a discussion recollecting the bitter years of the struggle.
Angula said there will also be a presentation by pioneers, children born in the struggle to rekindle the spirit of the yesteryears.
The two presentations will then be followed by cultural dances, music, poetry and traditional storytelling which will last until late into the night.
Angula also used the opportunity to appeal to patriotic Namibians to support the establishment of the Sam Nujoma Foundation Centre, envisaged to be constructed in Windhoek.
“We have the drawings, cost of the centre and the erven where it is supposed to be put up, but we do not have the resources and money,” said Angula.
Apart from Nujoma, who will take the podium to address those present at his birthday party, President Hage Geingob is also expected to deliver a birthday message.