• September 23rd, 2018
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Retracing the Footprints

By Joshua Razikua Kaumbi The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. The soil has repeated its tricks, as it did yesterday without shame, as it did yesterday without a sense of guilt when it robbed the sun of the shadows of Makushe, Kamehozu, Shaamena, Herman and others our memories now fail to remember. My first meeting with Comrade Hawala was at the 1996 NANSO Congress. His presence brought admiration to this short, tiny black child whose words and intellect at that time were larger than his physique. The whole Congress immediately developed a liking towards this child, making him the darling of the student movement. At that time we were told it was Elia Irimari's boy. During this Congress Comrade Hawala would quote Franz Fanon and other great scholars at the same platform as the Kaarondas and the Lombards. This was to be his first but not his last presence in a big man's world. No wonder the current Secretary General at the first meeting convened after the news, stated that all are present except Hawala, before allowing reality to correct him. Indeed he was the only person missing. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. The soil failed to prepare us as to her intentions. It chewed a piece of our future, without permission. When NANSO, the University of Ideas found itself at a crossroad, Comrade Hawala the boy was with us pondering the road to be taken. Taking whatever decisions we took at that time, which decision we regarded as crucial and important at that time, we would always listen to this boy as he would correct us and guide us all. Had I known that he was that young, I would have beaten him back to the school chairs, even though it would have been a futile exercise knowing the type of boy we were dealing with at that time. Some of us left Comrade Hawala as part of the leadership of our movement. When we managed to convince the donors and the government to fund our 2000 Dobra Congress we opted to have Comrade Hawala as the unofficial spokesperson of that Congress. This decision we took was guided only by the qualities of this young socialist. If my memories serve me well we agreed that Comrade Hawala should form part of the panel that would address the nation on Talk of the Nation. All this at that tender age! He was indeed of a special breed. When the congress ended he was once again re-elected together with the new team. Despite being fully aware of the state of our movement at that time, Comrade Hawala availed himself to the service of our movement. Despite knowing that he was a socialist and socialists never have money and despite knowing that he being in Outjo he would be asked to sacrifice what he never had, he availed himself to be a student of the University of Ideas once again. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. When it was time for him to walk through the gates of the then faculty of reasoning, University of Namibia, we once again met. Instead of grouping himself with his peers and his clan, he opted to associate himself with what they termed the progressive forces of the time. This association led to him being labelled the poisoned first year. That castigation and labelling never stimulated his young mind. To him everybody was human, and all others beside his fellow clan were equally right or equally wrong depending on the situation. All social strata of intelligentsia at UNAM were at ease with him and felt comfortable in his presence. As Comrade Richard Mbuende mentioned at the signing of the book of condolences, all of us could take Comrade Hawala to one's family and he would blend without a problem. I am sure Comrade Swartbooi would agree that the only difference between the two of them was and remains the skin pigment. It is needless to say that Comrade Hawala went to serve on the SRC not because of his geographical origin but because of his likableness. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has taken what John Pangesch branded the special nigga, whose nigganess was visible only in his walk but absent in his talk or action. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has robbed us of a young socialist who never failed to smile and never disrespected those older than him. When Comrade Hawala left University we continued to keep in touch. We would talk and confide in each other. Whenever I wanted to talk I would drive over to his Aunt's house and have a chat or I would invite him over for an endless talk on yesterday and tomorrow until Comrade Seibeb would take him to do what young people do best. In March this year, and at the invitation of Comrade Seibeb and his brother, we hanged onto the lips of this young man as he recited the I am an African speech signalling his maturity, as if reciting I am an African was the yardstick. The last time I spoke to him in private was the last Sunday before his departure. During this time he informed me of his intentions and prospects at his work. It was also during this time that he requested free legal assistance (still a socialist until the last day on earth) to study the possibility of having a special legal arrangement with his Granny's house, so as "to ensure that the future generations of the Hawalas have a roof over their head". Despite his persistence and my willingness to have this completed, time never allowed for that. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. With her premature opening the soil immortalized a stride too early, silenced a voice too soon. As I walk my nigga (I thought you said there ain't no heaven for niggas ), comrade, socialist-turned-socialist, brother to the womb of his grandma and the stretched out arms of his mother, I cannot but to say: Comrade I saw your departure I was told you have departed So young, full of potential My confidante, the finest mind our movement produced It is painful to marry pen to paper Words have been swallowed by your sudden departure I have been rendered speechless I am speechless because I am tired of paying tribute to young ones I am tired of paying tribute to those departing so young Full of potential and unfinished dreams Defying the natural order Young one, are the young ones not the ones to bury the elders? The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely. The soil drenched with the blood and sweat of our people has opened prematurely to a short man who lacked the short man syndrome. As we bid farewell to you, a farewell full of unanswered questions, we shall proudly steal the words from Comrade Samora Machel's poem, which ironically became his epitaph, that the only tribute to pay to a fallen comrade is by picking up the gun and continuing the fight for a just and equitable cause for all its subjects. Suva Mohange Tulumukwa no mbili oka kwaanyoka Tulumukwa no mbili oka kusinda.
2008-07-04 00:00:00 10 years ago
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