Veteran broadcaster and renowned historian Alexander Jarimbovandu Kaputu, who died last week at Otjinene in the Omaheke region, will be laid to rest next Saturday at a farm near Ovitoto, family spokesperson Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said.
He was 69.
Ua-Ndjarakana told New Era yesterday that Kaputu, who President Hage Geingob conferred the honour of an official funeral, will be buried at Farm Ozondeombo near Ovitoto in the Otjozondjupa region next to his grandmother. Geingob, who also donated N$30 000 towards the funeral of the late historian, lauded the unifying role played by Kaputu in the preservation of oral history and culture.
“Through language and culture, the late Jarimbovandu Kaputu played a pivotal role in the preservation of the history and traditions of the Ovaherero people. He leaves behind a rich legacy of nation building and loyal service to the Namibian people through his outstanding contributions to Namibia’s oral history and broadcasting during his years of service at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation,” Geingob said last week.
“Indeed, an important voice in the community has gone quiet. However, we should be consoled by his heritage of community service, which will be cherished by current and future generations. On behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Namibia, I extend heartfelt condolences to the wife, the children and the entire family during this difficult period of mourning. May his soul rest in eternal peace?”
Kaputu, described as a ‘book of wisdom’, died at the Otjinene clinic after he was rushed there from his homestead at Ombakaha.
Kaputu started his broadcasting career with the South West Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SWABC) and later Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). He retired from the corporation in 2015.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani last week described Kaputu as a historian of note, a renowned journalist, teacher to many and a traditional ritualist.
“At a time when our indigenous languages face extinction, he managed to capture the nation, especially the Ovaherero, through his use of language.
Kaputu played a significant role in the preservation of the Otjiherero language with his lively oratory skills,” Venaani said.
The leader of the official opposition added that most people did not have to meet Kaputu or know him personally to have understood the value he brought to the Namibian community.
“In fact, the young say he naturally cemented himself in their lives as a historian and teacher.”
Venaani said Kaputu’s passing is a great loss for the nation, as he was one of a few cultural and language activists and protector of traditional roots.
“His legacy can only be preserved by each of us. We now have a duty towards preserving the knowledge he imparted into us through his teachings by teaching others,” he noted.
The University of Namibia in 2019 bestowed Kaputu with an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy Honoris Causa in Literature after the recommendation of the Otja-Kapuuo peer initiation group (1978/79/80), led by Yarukeekuro Ndorokaze, a local lawyer.
Kaputu is survived by his wife Uahapisa Siro Kaputu and 13 children.