THE late Mandela Kapere, who has been accorded an official state funeral will be buried at the Pionierspark cemetery.
Kapere (38), who passed away in Windhoek at his Pionierspark home last week, has been described by many as a people’s person, a diplomat, a Pan-Africanist, and a visionary leader.
The youthful parliamentarian became the first sitting member of Cabinet to succumb to COVID-19 in Namibia.
A memorial service was held for the late Kapere in Parliament Gardens on Friday where President Hage Geingob, amongst others, paid a last tribute to him.
In his tribute, Dr. Geingob said: “In the passing of Comrade Mandela Kapere, we have lost one of our brightest stars, a gentle giant and an irreplaceable young leader.”
He said grief is not a life sentence but rather a life passage.
“Grief is the one human experience we are all forced to share, at one or other time in our lives, often many times. Sometimes we feel overburdened by grief, and although it is not a life sentence, for this moment at least, we are prisoners of grief. For what greater pain is there for a Nation than that of losing one of its foremost sons,” he said.
Dr. Geingob said that when he thinks about Kapere he is reminded of the words of his namesake, the late President of South Africa Nelson Madiba Mandela, who once said to the youth, “Be scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourself as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future.”
He said Kapere lived by Madiba’s words and that he was a scriptwriter of destiny.
“Even when the enemy COVID-19 cut his life short, he was in the process of writing his life script, working towards paving the way towards a brighter future, not only for the young people of this nation but for all generations of Namibians,” he said.
The President said that people may lament what may have been, what may have become of this young star who was blessed with immense potential and destined for great things, one thing is certain, he lived an admirable life.
“It was a life of purpose, defined by sacrifice, hard work, and patriotism. He exemplified the ideal of a young patriot and his aura and passion transcended tribal, ethnic, racial, and class barriers. He was of the people and for the people,” he said.
Dr. Geingob said that Kaperer paid a visit to him along with several of his peers.
“A few days later, he visited my office again accompanied by fellow youth, where we engaged in cordial discussions on a myriad of issues relating to our country. In Mandela Kapere, I saw a great potential and held high hopes for him given the fact that he was amongst a new cohort of youthful parliamentarians who could infuse some energy into our political debates.
Although this young man has left our earthly presence, the impact that he made, at the National Youth Council and beyond, cannot be allowed to wane. It is now up to others, to pick up the baton and continue to run the race Mandela ran, with the same dignity and humility, because as the Argentine Revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara stated, “Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.”
May those receptive ears, those young visionary Namibians who are the architects of our future, reach out to take up the arms and continue the fight for equality, social justice, and the economic emancipation of all Namibians. A fight that Comrade Mandela was so passionate about,” he said.
He told the immediate family f the late Kapere that he shares their pain and loss.
“Without warning, your lives have been transformed forever and a void has manifested itself in your hearts. Although your lives will not be the same as when the radiance of our departed Comrade was present, we pray that over time, the veil of sorrow will slowly lift and give way to the comfort of family, peace, love, and happiness,” he said.
In the weakness of death, we turn to the divine power for solace and in Psalm 147:3 we find the words, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
On Thursday, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Jenelly Matundu led a delegation of the Ministry to Kapere’s residence to pay tribute.
Matundu signed a Book of Condolence and also handed over an official Letter of Condolence to the bereaved family.