Namibia: 'You Were Born a Peasant and Died a President' - Monica On Her Hage

President Hage Geingob's widow Monica Geingos accompanies her husband's body to his final resting place. By her side is first lady Sustjie Mbumba and president Nangolo Mbumba, at Heroes' Acre where the late resident was buried.
24 February 2024

Former first lady Monica Geingos says despite his modest upbringing, president Hage Geingob accomplished remarkable feats and influenced numerous lives.

Delivering a tribute to the late president at his state memorial service on Saturday, Geingos expressed pride in the fact that a boy born under a tree in the Grootfontein area is now respected worldwide.

"Hage connected easily to people. You were born a peasant and died a president," Geingos said.

She said her husband was sincere and it was that sincerity that connected people to him.

"In his death, Hage truly came alive," Geingos said.

She said after his death Namibians from all walks of life came together and mourned.

Geingos also said her husband walked in the true meaning of his middle name, Gottfried, which means "God's friend".

"Hage was an old soul with a youthful spirit. His love was the foundation," she said.

Since his early days of being a teacher, Geingos said, Geingob has been in a position of power, but he always remained humble.

"For a powerful man, he was humble [...] he had a heart for people and the people had a heart for him. My husband was an honest man," Geingos said.

She said on 8 January, they found out that Geingob had cancer. On 17 January, he went for a first biopsy and on 18 January he insisted that a statement to the public should be sent out, she recalled.

She said her husband's cancer diagnosis required her to sit with "incredible" Namibian doctors over the last few weeks before his death, and she learned of the devastating statistics regarding the illness in the country.

Geingos said the late president insisted on a smooth transition in his last days.

She said a dull ache settled in her belly on 4 February, the day Geingob died, and it has remained there since then.

"Hage's passing is a reminder to be prepared. I was not ready to lose him," Geingos said.

AllAfrica publishes around 400 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.