When someone departs, good words are often uttered in their memory, honour and remembrance.
But rarely have such golden memorials proven no more than empty and hollow as they have been. Because despite the good and varied memories so uttered, rarely have they been cherished and accompanied by good deeds to emulate the departed.
But 99 times out of hundred the graves of the departed have hardly been covered, mourners have hurriedly turned their backs on their graves and, there and then, their good and fond memories are forgotten.
Similarly, their legacies are dead and buried with their interred mortal remains. If there is anyone out there who can testify otherwise and that indeed society cherishes and keeps the legacies of the departed, I shall back down.
Because I am not aware of any legacies of especially of our celebrated heroes and heroines that still live among us practically other than only by pretentious remembrances by word of mouth.
Is it a way of consoling and comforting the remaining loved ones of the departed, or the typical trademark showman- or womanship that has become part of the sham at many a funeral since time immemorial to this day?
One is particularly reminded of such empty promises this week when Cuba, and indeed the international progressive and peace-loving fraternity, is fondly observing the second anniversary of the eternal retirement on November 26, 2016, of the world’s quintessential socialist internationalist, only second to one, the late Fidel Castro.
Is it not perhaps an illusion, hypocrisy or betrayal of his very legacy just to merely wish for his legacy to live forever without being consequent to practically honouring his legacy by ensuring that indeed his legacy lives forever.
I cannot speak much on and to what extent the Cuban people are and have been realising the continuation of his legacy. Nor can I also testify same for the world in the progressive realm. Not while in this day and age the progressive world is far and few in between and at best have been retrogressing in terms of the Marxist-Leninist ideology that the late Fidel Castro so much espoused, in thinking and indeed in deeds.
Presiding over and ensuring in particular that the Cuban internationalist solidarity forces through the years physically and ideologically stood firm and square with the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), and the Namibian people at large in their quest to unshackle the chains of colonialism and capitalism.
The chains of colonialism were eventually unchained when Namibia attained independence on March 21, 1990. And the role of the Cuban internationalist forces in this regard are too well documented and known. But can the same be said of the chains of capitalism and exploitation and the resultant ills and squalor in society?
Each and everyone can make his/her pick in this regard. But there can be no denial that Namibia, as much as it could be argued that it may be and is on course, such a course as far as the socialist ideals and the legacy of Fidel Castro, may be too fine to notice.
Not to mention if socialism is and has ever been on the Namibia menu, which is part of the legacy of Fidel Castro. Because it is inconceivable to speak of the legacy of Fidel Castro without talking about Marxist-Leninism, let alone socialism. But this ideology seems to have been revised, if not altogether discarded and thrown into the dustbin of ideological history.
To be overshadowed today by fashionable terms such as social justice consonant with the ideology of capitalism and/or the free market economy. The very antithesis to the Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Granted that in this age of ideological revisionism and bankruptcy, Marxist-Leninism and/or socialism may be outdated, albeit not as a tool of analysis, rooted in the dichotomy and/or contradictions among the haves and have-nots, the working and capitalist classes, the legacy of socialists and Marxist-Leninists like Fidel Castro is not the only legacy that seems to have been betrayed.
Starting on home ground in Namibia, we have got the legacies of great warriors like Kahimemua Nguvauva, Samuel Maharero, Jacob Marenga, Jonker Afrikaner, Hendrik Witbooi, Nehale lya Mpingana who distinguished themselves in the anticolonial resistance, especially against Imperial Germany.
In terms of modern nationalism one cannot think of the likes of Hosea Kutako, Brendan Simbwaye, Samuel Witbooi followed latter day by activists such as Clemens Kapuuo, Jariretundu Kozonguizi, Simon Gobs, Uatjindua Ndjoze, Mokganedi Thlabanello, Daniel Tjongarero, Jason Mutumbulwa, John ya Otto, Nathaniel Maxuilili, Rikumbi Kandanga, David Meroro, Moses Katjiuongua, Kenneth and Ottilie Abrahams, Dr Kuaima Riruako, Nora Schimming-Chase, John Garvey Muundjua.
One cannot but wonder as to what happened and may be happening to their legacies. Simply forgotten if not reduced to the renaming of the streets. But can one in such streets really relive and enliven the ideals they stood for. Foremost most of them certainly must have stood for is social justice. In the political nomenclature of Fidel Castro socialism. Are we in Namibia working towards this?