Heartfelt tributes poured in yesterday from all corners of the country following the passing on of Swapo parliamentarian and former executive chairperson of the National Youth Council Mandela Kapere.
He was 38 and died from an undisclosed illness yesterday morning.
Leading the tributes, President Hage Geingob eulogised Kapere as an illustrious youth leader and dedicated cadre.
"Our nation has lost a dynamic parliamentarian, who played an important role in shaping the trajectory of youth leadership in our land. My sincere condolences to his wife, the children, his parents, and the entire family. May the soul of comrade Mandela Kapere rest in eternal peace," said Geingob.
Erongo governor Andre Neville, who was a close friend of Kapere, described him as a bright mind who worked hard for the youth through various organisations. He said Kapere championed the plight of youth. He also remembered Kapere as a dedicated family man.
"We knew him as MK, which was the abbreviation of his name and surname. He will stay up till late hours debating about contemporary issues - be it domestic or foreign issues, and he was always informed of the current news. He worked hard for NYC, SPYL and Nanso during his time as a leader in those organisations. The political and social circles in Namibia will miss him. It is indeed a great loss and we pray for his wife and kids, and his entire family," Neville said.
Fellow Swapo MP Tobie Aupindi said he was extremely saddened by the untimely passing of Kapere.
"My heart aches to hear this sad news. You have gone too soon. Even so when your knowledge and experiences are most relevant this time. You are and always will be my brother forever. Rest in God's hands. Rest in peace," Aupindi said.
Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda also authored a heartfelt tribute in honour of Kapere.
"We debated, fought, disagreed and agreed during our days in the SPYL and after. Despite our differences, no one can take away the contributions that Mandela Kapere has made in youth politics in Namibia. With the late Bankie F. Bankie, Ndeuli & others, [Kapere] introduced me to Pan-Africanism when I was at university. May the soul of Mandela Kapere rest in eternal peace. My sincere condolences to the Kapere family and Swapo," Amupanda said.
There were also tributes from former youth leader and presidential assistant Wensel Mavara, who said he has known Kapere for more than 20 years.
"I served with him in all structures of youth leadership, starting from Nanso, NYC and Swapo Party Youth League," he said.
Mavara said Kapere possessed quality leadership of bravery and honesty, saying youth development of Namibia was at his heart.
Former Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu described him as a psychologist, diplomat in his own right, strategist, comforter and a great listener.
She recalls Kapere for standing his ground regardless of other views. She said he taught her to be "cool" whatever the situation might be.
"My comforting words are hereby extended to his parents, family and his wife. May God give strength to all comrades, friends and all those touched by his death," added Kahungu.
Kapere joined the National Assembly on a Swapo ticket in March this year, following the 2019 general elections.