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Namibian media giant gone to rest

2019-04-26  Maria Amakali

Namibian media giant gone to rest

WINDHOEK - Charismatic, eloquent, excellent writer, poet, diligent, impartial, witty, frank are just some of the words used to describe veteran journalist and poet Peter Mvula ya Nangolo who passed away early yesterday morning.

Ya Nangolo died at the age of 75 at his residence in Tauben Glen, Hochland Park, Windhoek. His younger brother Timotheus Hatupopi confirmed the icon’s passing. Ya Nangolo is survived by his wife Nosipho Ya Nangolo and four children. 
The departed journalist of note was a published author of many books and poems. Some of his work include ‘Watering The Beloved Desert’, ‘From Exile’, ‘Thoughts From Exile’ and a political documentary ‘Kassinga - A Story Untold.’

Having gone into exile as a young man at the age of 20, Ya Nangolo joined Swapo’s Department of Information and was instrumental in the formation of its newspaper ‘Namibia Today’ of which he was the founding editor. 

Upon returning to Namibia in 1989, Ya Nangolo helped with the foundation of the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), where he worked as a features editor, a position he held for many years until his retirement. He later served as the special advisor to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology.

Former National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) executive director and Nampa’s former editor-in-chief Mocks Shivute described Ya Nangolo as a critical but constructive mentor. 

Shivute who worked with Ya Nangolo at Swapo’s Department of Information in exile and at Nampa, says the departed career journalist was a jack of many trades – not only was he a poet but a historian and philosopher as well.
“He was a mentor to many young journalists. His loss is not only ours or the media fraternity’s but it’s a loss to the Namibian nation. Namibia lost a friend, historian, philosopher, a great thinker, a well-read poet and journalist. I hope his work is well documented for us to learn from,” says Shivute.

Chrispin Inambao, the editor of New Era worked who worked with the poet for many years at Nampa, spoke of  Ya Nangolo as having been a hands-on features editor who subjected all features referred to him to microscopic scrutiny.
“Tate ya Nangolo, charismatic, he was one of a kind. He liked reading and writing. He had an aura of dignity about him. He was also a published Namibian author and one of his sentimental books bears the title, ‘Thoughts from Exile.’ I should also say Tate ya Nangolo had a very good command of the English language. From time to time he also reminisced about his pleasant interactions with the Founding Father Sam Nujoma during their time in exile. He may no longer be with us, but his memory will remain etched in the annals of our history. May his soul rest in eternity,” said Inambao. 

One of Ya Nangolo’s mentees, editor of The Namibian newspaper Tangeni Amupadhi, says his mentor was a person who had a way with words and has contributed immensely to who he is as a journalist today. 

“He taught me to appreciate the art of journalism and going beyond the inverted pyramid. He would make you listen to what he had to say as he had a way with words. A legend has definitely departed,” said Amupadhi, further noting that Namibia needs to pick up the baton and continue in a way he would. In addition, journalists should continue his legacy by ensuring that they put in some thought into what they write.

Seasoned journalist and sports editor at New Era Carlos Kambaekwa described Ya Nangolo as a man who was old but young at heart, someone who called a spade a spade. Adding that he was well read and had a rich institutional memory which is a great loss to the nation.

2019-04-26  Maria Amakali

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