THE late Dr. Nickey Iyambo was described as a selfless medical practitioner, stalwart of the Namibian Liberation Struggle and a leader in the Namibian Government and society since Independence by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba during a memorial service that was held at the Oniimwandi Village.
The current Vice President joined a multitude of mourners earlier on Saturday to pay their last respects to the former Vice President who died at his Windhoek home on Sunday 19 May.
Vice President Mbumba said the late Dr. Iyambo was a good friend of his for more than 60 years.
“He was a humble and devoted servant of the Namibian people whose immense contributions in the health sector, local government, veteran’s affairs and many other fields before and after independence are all well recorded.”
The full tribute by Vice President Mbumba reads as follows:
On behalf of the Presidency and the Namibian government, I hereby express our great sadness and a deep sense of loss, on the passing on of one of our own namely H.E. Cde. Dr. Nickey Iyambo, one of the towering figures of our Namibian nation. Our sympathy and condolences goes out to the Iyambo Family, to the Aaniimwandi, aaNayena, Aashikoto and to all the Namibians whose lives Dr. Iyambo touched.
We are mourning the most distinguished son of Tatekulu Johannes Shuundi sha Vilho Iyambo ya Amaambo na Kuku Linda Niikunde Nandjako ya Johannes ya Amakali.
Cde. Dr. Iyambo and I were schoolmates at both Oniipa and Ongwediva Boys Schools in the late 1950’s. He joined SWAPO in 1960, being one of the youngest people to do so. During that period many of us were students who associated ourselves with the leaders of SWAPO, but money was not there to pay the two and six for the SWAPO membership cards but always surrounded ourselves with the leadership. This served as good preparation for when we were getting ready to leave for exile and eventually attain our membership cards.
The late Dr. Iyambo, was a good student, he was consistent, hardworking and maintained a high level of excellence throughout his studies, which is evident in him attaining a Master Degree in Political Science to be followed by a Bachelor of Medicine and Doctor of Medicine in Surgery degrees in 1980 from the famous University of Helsinki, in Finland.
Upon completion he decided to return to Southern Africa to re-join the liberation struggle, leaving behind the comfort and safety of Finland. He was appointed Senior Medical Officer of PLAN in southern Angola. His persona and intellect quickly enabled him to work smoothly with Senior PLAN commanders, younger soldiers and other medical officers. He was a pleasant person to work with, and one that would not boast about his high qualifications or look down on others.
He possessed many likeable traits. He was very humble; he was a man of peace; a mediator par excellence; he had a fine sense of humour nevertheless he was a man of cleanliness, proper conduct and law and order. He was a meticulous planner and someone who worked very systematically. He avoided scolding but would diplomatically get his message across.
Dr. Nickey Iyambo, was selected to lead the first small group of returnees from exile which came and help setup the Repatriation, Resettlement and Reconstruction Committee.
He was a humble and devoted servant of the Namibian people whose immense contributions in the health sector, local government, veteran’s affairs and many other fields before and after independence are all well recorded. He was a good friend of mine for over 60 years, we shared many political thoughts, and he was honest in his assessment in good as well as bad times.
Although he was not that well lately, he remained calm and kept his faith. Those that were within his inner circles to the end can confirm his calmness and that he had no regrets or fears.
Dr Nickey Iyambo, the selfless medical practitioner and stalwart of the Namibian liberation struggle and a leader in the Namibian Government and society since independence, served as a Member of the Constituent Assembly from 1989-90, Where-after he served in various ministerial portfolio’s until he was appointed by his son and friend Dr. Hage G. Geingob and sworn in as the first Vice President of Namibia on March 21, 2015.
He was awarded First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2011, by the Finnish President, Her Excellency Tarja Halonen. Moreover, he was conferred the Most Brilliant Order of the Sun, First Class in 2014 by H.E Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba former President of Namibia. This significant awards and honours bear testimony to who Dr. Nickey Iyambo was.
The Presidency and especially the Office of the Vice President, staff members will remember Dr Nickey Iyambo as a deep thinker, dedicated civil servant, a freedom fighter and medical practitioner par excellence. We will also remember him as a fair mediator and a national hero who led efforts to the betterment of the standard of living of the Namibian people during the difficult years of our liberation struggle and in an independent Namibia.
As we celebrate the purposefully lived life of our late H.E. Dr. Nickey Iyambo, may we find solace in the Book of Matthew 5:9, which reads: “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God”. He has completed his dignified journey. With dedication he had served Namibia and the world at large.
He had shown us how to carry ourselves in both difficult and good times.
Although he deserved the honours and accolades conferred on him, on behalf of the community of Onayena and Oshikoto region and the rest of Namibia, we once again would like to thank His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, for bestowing him with a State funeral. This is a prime example that “Good deeds shall always be remembered”.
We hereby extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Mrs. Johanna Iyambo, their children, grandchildren and members of the immediate Iyambo family. We wish Mrs. Johanna Iyambo and the rest of the family, as well as proud historic community of Onayena strength as they go through this most difficult time of mourning.
May the Soul of H.E Dr. Nickey Iyambo, Rest in Eternal Peace.