The family of the late Shannon Wasserfall whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in the dunes at Walvis Bay a month ago said though they have forgiven the suspected murderers; they still need to understand why they had to do it.
“This is a difficult time for us as family and friends. Of course, what is done is done but for us to get closure, we just want to know why they had to kill her in such a barbaric way she didn’t deserve,” says Tuikila Kaiyamo on behalf of Shannon’s father, Tega Matheus.
Kaiyamo who said he knew Shannon since she was eight-years-old, said they are happy to get the remains although not in the way they expected it.
But for them to get closure, those responsible for ending her life need to explain why and how they have done it, Kaiyamo said.
“This is not just about us, it is also about the baby she left behind,” he sobbed.
The first of a handful of services planned in honour of Shannon’s life and mourn her death took place on Saturday at Hallelujah Church in Katutura, Windhoek.
Over a hundred people including family, friends and human right activists attended the memorial service.
Tears trickle as family and friends paid a warm and heartfelt tribute to the young woman whose missing person case, and subsequent murder shook the nation earier in April.
“She was a lover of life. In fact, she was life. She was fearless and full of dreams. Dreams that were taken away from her. We are shattered by the thought of all things that were stolen from her but we will try not to wallow in it for the sake of honouring her memory,” said Maggy Wasserfall, Shannon’s cousin.
Shannon’s older sister, Saima Frans who sobbed on stage narrated that her sister was brilliant and always had an upper hand in school.
“When we were hungry we always had a chef, when we had bad hair day, we had a hairdresser. She was caring and full of love,” Frans said. Collectively, the Matheus and Wasserfall family thanked the Namibian police and others that had shown support during the difficult period.
“People have no mercy. How does one sleep at night knowing that they have taken someone’s life? But we are humbled by the response of the nation and local police. It was a source of strength for us,” said one of Shannon’s uncles, representing the Matheus family.
Shannon’s death sparked nationwide outrage and her name has become synonymous with the call to end Gender-Based Violence in Namibia.
Local activist, Ndiilo Nthengwe delivered an impassioned eulogy saying GBV has so many facets, sometimes it is emotional manipulation, physical abuse, financial abuse, and exclusion while in other cases it’s someone crying out for help in a song like Shannon did.
“I am sure that after Shannon’s burial, as we all should have been doing from the beginning, that we will all start paying attention. We will all start making effort to fight the scourge that is SGBV, in any capacity, and with all the resources available to us,” she said.
Born Shannon Ndatega Kandari Wasserfall, she was born in 1998 in Walvis Bay. She started school at Tutaleni Primary School at the harbour town and later moved to Windhoek where she completed Grade 12 at David Bezuidenhout Secondary School.
After matriculating with flying colours in 2016, Shannon got a scholarship to study in Canada and was admitted to start in 2017, it was during this time that she fell pregnant and so had to put her studies on hold.
At the time of her death, Shannon was pursuing her studies at the International University of Management in Walvis Bay.
Azaan Madisia (28) and her younger brother Steven Junior Mulundu (22) have been charged in connection with her murder. -firstname.lastname@example.org