6 May 2019

Namibia: Geingob Chronicles Friend of 59 Years Mvula

Windhoek — President Hage Geingob has said the late Mvula ya Nangolo - the veteran journalist who died recently and was laid to rest on this year's Cassinga Day - was a man who relied on planned implementation rather than coincidences.

The 75-year-old didn't believe in coincidences but believed in everything that has connotation, the Head of State further recalled.

Geingob said this during Mvula's burial at the Old Location Cemetery in Hochland Park on Saturday.

Poet Mvula was part of the transitional team that transformed the South West African Broadcasting Corporation (SWABC) into the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

He also played a transformational role in the establishment of the Namibian Press Agency (Nampa).

"As we bury this son of our soil in the Old Location Cemetery, [I am reminded of my journey] with Mvula that started 59 years ago in 1960 as classmates at Augustineum, with the likes of Hidipo Hamutenya and Theo-Ben Gurirab," Geingob said.

Geingob said he met Mvula again in 1963, while in exile, in Francistown (Botswana), where Maxton Joseph, he (Geingob) and Mvula met Mburumba Kerina.

Geingob said their lives remained intertwined as Mvula' s role as a Swapo broadcaster, and his [Geingob's] role as a chief representative of Swapo in New York, required coordination around information dissemination.

"Comrades Hidipo Hamutenya, Theo-Ben Gurirab and I assisted Cde Mvula with the sourcing of information from the United Nations and he jokingly referred to us as the 'diplomatic trio'," Geingob said.

If he was alive, Geingob said, Mvula would remind him that it is no coincidence that they were all schoolmates.

"It was also no coincidence that when President Sam Nujoma sent me to head UNIN in Lusaka, my path would once again be intertwined with that of Cde Mvula," he said.

In exile, Geingob said, Mvula played a critical role in negating the propaganda of racist South Africa and ensuring that Namibians, and the world at large, heard the truth.

At independence, the Head of State said, Mvula was part of the transitional team to transform the South West African Broadcasting Corporation into the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.

He said Mvula also played a transformational role in the establishment of the Namibian Press Agency (Nampa).

Speaking on behalf of Swapo at the Mvula memorial on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the 1959 Windhoek massacre planted a seed of steeled determination in Mvula to resist oppression and racial discrimination.

"In his burning desire to fight against colonial oppression, Comrade Mvula joined Swapo at an early age of 18 years. Comrade Mvula was compelled to leave for exile in 1963, at age 20, firmly believing that it was better to fight and, if need be, die on his feet than live permanently on his knees under the yoke of apartheid colonial oppression", she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said Mvula joined other Swapo members who went to Tanzania that included Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation Sam Nujoma, and other luminaries of the Swapo liberation struggle.

She said while in Tanzania, Swapo organised a scholarship for Mvula to study journalism in the then Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR) (East Germany).

"It was while in GDR that Comrade Mvula developed his talent for journalism, his preferred profession, and started writing poetry," she said.

On his return to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, Mvula was assigned to work as a broadcaster on the external service of Radio Tanzania, 'the Namibia Hour', broadcast to Namibia.

"It was during his nightly broadcasts to Namibia that many Namibians learned that Comrade Mvula was exceptionally gifted with languages. He broadcast alternately in English, Otjiherero, Afrikaans and Oshiwambo with equal fluency," she said.

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