OKOMBAHE - Christine //Hoebes’ assertion over the weekend that the late Axali Doëseb only contributed the melody of Namibia’s national anthem was squashed by the Presidency yesterday.
//Hoebes, who is the minister in the Presidency, said during the 46th Gaob festival that Doëseb, who passed away on 27 October 2023, only provided the melody for the anthem “Namibia, Land of the Brave,” which has been a symbol of the nation’s unity and pride since 1991.
“He was one of those who were instrumental in crafting the national anthem. I must explain here how it came about… A committee was assembled that was supposed to
craft the national anthem. He,
Doëseb, was one of the committee members; some provided the lyrics, and he was the one who provided the melody. So, it is against this background that we cannot attribute the crafting of the national anthem to one person only because a committee did it,”
//Hoebes said on Saturday.
However, the Presidency in a statement issued yesterday, stated that Doëseb is the author and composer of the national anthem, putting any ambiguities to bed.
“The composer and author of the national anthem is Axali Doëseb. There is no dispute about that,” press secretary Alfredo Hengari told New Era yesterday when asked to clarify their statement in layman’s terms. The government also lauded Doëseb for his contributions to building the Namibian nation by assigning to the government of the Republic of Namibia the respective copyrights in the words and music of the said composition, Hengari said.
“Therefore, in terms of the National Symbols of the Republic of Namibia Act, 2018, the melody, music, and lyrics of the National Anthem are declared to be in the public domain. The exceptional deeds of Doëseb in the writing and composition of the national anthem, ‘Namibia, Land of the Brave,’ shine bright and shall not be forgotten,” the statement reads.
//Hoebes’ statement was received with consternation by certain quarters. Her utterances did not sit well with Namibians who were questioning the motive behind the remarks of the minister at a time when a dark cloud of sorrow is hovering over the country, as it mourned Doëseb.
Asked for comment yesterday, //Hoebes referred this publication to the statement issued by the Presidency.
The Presidency also stated that the N$2 million government was expected to give to Doëseb as a further token of appreciation for his work as the writer and composer of the national anthem will be paid to his wife and children. Meanwhile, the government has conferred a State funeral on Doëseb. The exact date and venue will be communicated in due course. - firstname.lastname@example.org