TIMES are changing. Even the traditional norms at funeral ceremonies, such as handshakes and comforting one another with a hug, have to make way for the mandatory coronavirus prevention measures.
This was evident at the funeral of the 95-year-old Rakkel yaNdaendele, who passed away recently in the Oshakati intermediate hospital and was laid to rest at her home village resident, Omutundungu, in the Okalongo constituency of the Omusati Region on Wednesday.
YaNdaendele, popularly known as Meekulu Mukwashivela, was the widow of Simon Hifikepunye Ndikwetepo who died in the Cassinga massacre of 4 May 1978. She is survived by four children, who she raised on her own after her husband died, 25 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.
Ndikeweteko went into exile in August 1977 accompanied by four of his children but left his wife and other children behind.
YaNdaendele was described as humble, friendly, and a pillar of wisdom in the Omutundungu community and beyond.
One of her sons, Nathanael Ndikwetepo, is one of the four senior traditional councillors of the Ombadja Traditional Authority.
The funeral was attended by close to 500 people who duly complied with COVID-19 preventive measures. The names and details of the attendees were recorded in a book; everyone was required to wear a face mask; hands were properly sanitized and obligatory social distancing was observed.