ONLY nine days to go before Namibians celebrate one more Independence anniversary by paying tribute to all the fallen heroes and heroines whose selfless sacrifice made the country’s liberation a reality.
According to Chief Samuel Ankama, the Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Namibia’s history should be taught in its entirety to reflect the authentic unfolding of events leading up to the Liberation Struggle and to where the country is now.
During an exclusive interview with Informanté, Ankama said that the current and succeeding generation should be able to see the connection between the past generations to the current in order for them to pave the way forward.
“The generation that witnessed 21 March 1990 would definitely recall many events leading to the day of Namibia’s Independence. The youth of the times would recall the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale involving the forces of Angolan MPLA, Cubans, Swapo’s PLAN combatants on one side and Apartheid South Africa’s soldiers and their allies on the other,” said Ankama.
Ankama, who recalls the battle of freedom, said peace and justice was a taboo as there was hardly any day one could not hear or witness an incident of brutality or killing.
Those who grew up in the war zone – northern Namibia as it was known – are still able to tell even now of the effects of war, the loss of life of relatives and comrades, their own loss of limbs and the many untold experiences of torture they went through in the hands of their captors,” Ankama said.
He articulated that life gives surprises and that the unexpected happens.
“Comrades, friends, relatives, a brother or a sister one knew before they left for exile are either back in full health, sick, with missing limbs or just not there at all. They sacrificed themselves during the war for liberation or died as a result of sickness. As we all can tell, it was a time of joy and sadness almost in every family that had someone in exile.”
Ankama noted that it was a moving experience especially when exiled people were moving (graduating) from reception centers to their villages, homes and places of origin.
“One should think that for a sister or brother who left the country for 25 years or more, returning back home would be a nightmare.”
He explained that in some instances one’s entire family or homestead was destroyed by war and there was no one left. The disappointment would have been even greater if a person was a PLAN combatant and upon his or her return found that in some cases some siblings were fighting on the side of the enemy. Collaborators were known as Omakakunya.
Ankama stated that despite all the challenges people faced the aim still was Independence and there was a concerted and unstoppable will to see Namibia forever free.