I read with much surprise in the Namibian Sun of Tuesday, 7 September 2021, the salient, highly contestable assertion that teacher Marco Hausiku doesn’t deserve a hero’s funeral, as there are more deserving candidates than him, who died recently. Let me respectfully advance my exception to this statement.
With this narrative, I am not going to dwell on the merits or de-merits of who deserves a hero’s funeral more than another individual. The reason for this is that this is a highly subjective decision – and according to existing legal frameworks, the powers to do such are vested in the sitting President, as Head of State, after having been advised on the merits and de-merits of this exercise. I also get the feeling the criticism, as advanced, is blurred by personal side issues with the Head of State – and in that, it seriously misinforms and dilutes the achievements of a struggle icon like teacher Marco Hausiku, which led to him to be declared a national hero.
I bumped into teacher Marco Hausiku in 1981 at the then Katutura Secondary School (now Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School) as a learner, enrolling at that school to further my school career. Coming from St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic School (Dobra), I already had a strong political foundation – but at this distinguished institution, we were politically transformed into becoming real firebrand activists in the quest to break the white colonial rule and to get our country independent.
This school was littered with highly distinguished teachers, who ‘schooled’ us into political and social justice activism. They are too many to mention, but amongst others were Immanuel Nambahu (principal), Alexander Gaomab, Stanislaus Konjore, Elia George Kaiyamo, Simson Kandjii, Rusten Mogane, Mentos Hipondoka, Hertha Nashenda and many others. However, one teacher who stood head and shoulders above the rest is teacher Marco Hausiku.
Teacher Hausiku redefined the meaning of political activism, and his efforts put him in a bracket of his own, and directly in the firing line of some of most brutal tactics the police meted out their adversaries. He endured the highest level of humiliation, which many people don’t know about, because he rarely blew his own horn.
On countless times, he was arrested in front of our eyes and taken to the security police headquarters. Here, he was beaten badly – and many a times, he returned with swollen eyes, bruised lips and a ravaged body. This torturing did not happen once, twice or thrice, but so often that we lost count.
The security police did this in cohorts with known informants in trying to psychologically break down teacher Hausiku – but like all struggle icons, he stood the test of time.
Teacher Hausiku’s house became the reference point of all the Swapo activities; all the materials from overseas, messages/instructions from outside the country and the entire political programmes were channeled through this humble servant of the masses. He simply never retreated nor compromised on the principles he believed in. Throughout the years, he maintained a high level of consistency towards the cause of independence. I am not privy to the criterion being used to accord a hero’s funeral to individuals, but one thing I am sure about is whatever the criteria, teacher Marco Hausiku will easily tick all those boxes – even if you keep on shifting the goal posts to deny him this deserved honour!
I cannot understand why an outstanding and unblemished freedom fighter like teacher Hausiku should be subjected to such an embarrassing scrutiny that one of his bitter adversaries Dirk Mudge are mentioned in the same breath as him. Yes, some of us have never and will never forget the tyranny that Dirk Mudge and his cohorts unleashed on teacher Hausiku and other freedom fighters who fought for independence inside this country.
In respect of struggle credentials, teacher Marco has few equals because many who are claiming and are glorified as freedom fighters cowardly fled the brunt of the South African regime and enjoyed the comforts of plush foreign hotels and universities, while teacher Hausiku and others endured this harassment on a daily basis inside this country.
Yes, he placed his body under the rolling and marauding wheels of casspirs; he spent lonely nights in solitary confinements – not knowing whether he will be alive tomorrow. He was spat on and urinated on, while some of us wined and dined somewhere far away from this dehumanising treatment.
His record in the service of this country and its people after independence speaks for itself, and we do not really need rocket science to place him according to his achievements.
He has fully paid the rent for his room at the Heroes Acre and in heaven through his service to mankind and to Namibians.
He is a true national hero, period!
Him being accorded a hero’s funeral is fully deserved and spot on.
Mooi loop Meester!