LIBERATION struggle hero and former Robben Island political prisoner, the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, was on Thursday honoured after the airport at Ondangwa was named after him.
In July 2014, a proposal was made to rename the Ondangwa Airport in honour of the late liberation struggle hero, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, and after his death in June 2017. These talks gained momentum and Cabinet finally approved the proposal last year.
The airports custodian, Namibia Airports Company (NAC), then set in motion the procurement process to rename the airport, which is now known as Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Airport.
Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, on behalf of President Hage Geingob, officiated at the renaming ceremony, which was also attended by Founding President Sam Nujoma, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Ya Toivo’s family.
Addressing the renaming crowd, Mbumba stated that Ya Toivo was an unwavering freedom fighter, selfless giant and true Namibian freedom torch bearer.
According to Mbumba, it is befitting to rename Ondangwa Airport after Ya Toivo, because it was in Ondangwa where he carried Swapo political activities, as the organization’s secretary for northern Namibia.
“Today also marks an important occasion, which is the birthday anniversary of our liberation icon comrade Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, who would have turned 95 years of age today. Ya Toivo dedicated his life to the fight against colonial oppression and rejected apartheid South Africa’s reduction of Namibia to be its colony,” stated the Vice-president.
Speaking at the same occasion, Chairperson of the Namibia Airport Company (NAC), Leake Hangala, said that the company is in the process of finalizing the production of Ya Toivo statue, which will also to be mounted at the airport.
“Once the production process has been completed, we will agree on a suitable date to mount the statue, and the thousands of travellers passing through this airport will have the privilege to view and take pictures with this giant statue of our great Namibia hero,” explained Hangala.
Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo died in June 2017 and was accorded a hero’s funeral.