Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani has described the late educationist Martin Shipanga’s dedication and commitment to drive a generation of black people out of the “doldrums of hopelessness” as noteworthy to become a standing leader in society.
Venaani said this in his capacity as a leader of opposition parties in parliament on Friday at the Parliament Gardens during Shipanga’s memorial service, who died last week Sunday at the age of 88.
Shipanga was interred at Heroes Acre on the outskirts of Windhoek on Saturday.
“Many of you will wonder how I know this giant of teacher and Inspekteur van Onderwys, as we used to call him,” Venaani said.
He narrated during the mid and late 1980s, he attended school at St Barnabas Primary School, and the proximity of Meester Shipanga’s shop and the school was a stone throw away. At times, he and his peers would enter the shop all at once to collect the delicacy of the time – lever brood. “As an old teacher and our school inspector, he would go for the door and close it at once. If you did not have the 50c, he would deal with you. We would shout ‘this is a shop – not a school’ but inspector would have his way,” Venaani said.
He said the trail of his deeds interwove with society through imparting knowledge to past and current generations, enabling his place in the strata of the nation’s memories.
“His life as a teacher while heading the Augustineum College in Okahandja during the late 1950s and 60s, and his later stint as education inspector and director, was never about himself but putting the interest of our great country first,” he said.
Venaani said Shipanga’s remarkable deeds as an educator who, even after retirement, remained a teacher is tempted to put his life trajectory on the scale to illuminate the shortcomings of modern-day society.
“On behalf of the Popular Democratic Movement and other opposition parties; on behalf of my wife Cloudina and in my name convey our sympathy and empathy and condolences to the family of our esteemed teacher,” expressed Venaani.
“Let’s accept that death is but a part of the ordinary rhythm of life that dictates that in due time, all of us must and will transcend to the home of ages. Meester, rest softly at the bosom of your creator,” he added.
President Hage Geingob, National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi, Reverend Andreas Biwa, Ben Amathila, Dr Libertina Amathila and sport minister Agnes Tjongarero are among those who went through Shipanga’s hands at Augustineum.