Professor Mburumba Kerina
The written history of South West Africa, now Namibia, begins with the exploration of our country by Europeans and much of this period occurred in the lifetime of the late Chief Hosea Kutako.
This great Namibian leader was a modest, reserved and impressive man whose wisdom and physical strength were reflected in his decisive leadership and actions.
In the many years that he held high office of national leadership he gave that position a special form adapted to his distinctly African talents and character. Europeans, and particularly South Africans, have, with bitterness at times, called him “incorruptible”, for Chief Hosea Kutako proved to be a great statesman very well capable of giving the political life of South West Africa worthy and important impulses. He acted with wisdom, courage and integrity in many crucial situations.
To the South African government that feared him he was known as uncompromising on matters of principle, sometimes even “dictatorial”. As a national leader of imposing presence, circumstances beyond our control in the territory often forced him to exert a firm will to make the widely divergent interests of all our people compatible.
The Namibian liberation struggle has been plagued with South African racial legislation designed to divide the African people in accordance with the Ethnic Group Areas Act, thus depriving them of their traditional lands.
Chief Hosea Kutako mastered this challenge by always finding an objective basis upon which to strengthen his case against the South African government.
With millions of our brothers and sisters in Africa joining the mainstream of history as sovereign nations, the present times in Namibia might well be called the era of militant nationalism.
Three decades ago hardly anyone one in our country dreamed of such a revolutionary awakening - for a revolution it is, vast in its magnitude and impact, and exhilarating for all who hold Africa’s right to determine her own destiny and to choose her own forms of government.
Chief Hosea Kutako is the father and leader of this consciousness. He fought for its preservation among our people since the colonization of our country by Germany. He continued to the end of his life to defend the rights of all our people irrespective of their ethnic origin. He stood as the “Rock of Gibraltar” against the efforts of the South African government to absorb our country. It is due to his initiatives that the case of S.W. Africa figured high in the assemblies of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.
His life taught us an important lesson-that the leader who really counts is a man who actually in the arena of action, whose face is marred by age, dust and sweat., who strives sincerely, prudently, selflessly and valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms in history, the great devotion in serious human causes, and who spends himself without lowering his concerns to the petty and trivial matters which so often destroy great causes.
As a distinguished leader Chief Hosea Kutako represented the homogeneity of our people. He was elected and followed because he is what our people are; hence, he was trusted because he knew what our people needed and what was expected of him.
He possessed certain indispensable qualities; a fighting spirit plus the tremendous concentration of mind and will needed to break all resistance of adversaries and dissenting colleagues. The fighting spirit is the unification of intellectual and emotional powers; the elaboration of a life philosophy and the action for its realization.
The result among our people was a merging of trust and faith. Trust in the struggle is the attitude of the people toward a man whose leadership is based on an intelligent and intelligible conduct of the struggle. Faith is the attitude of the people towards a leader who assumes that assumes that his very existence is sufficient to justify his actions and measures.
As we look over Chief Hosea Kutako’s record of unsurpassed leadership and the proud heritage that he left us we will continue to remember his famous words:
“O Lord, help us who roam about. Help us
who have been placed in Africa and have
no dwelling place of our own. Give us
back our Home.”
I thus take this opportunity in conclusion to thank President Hage Geingob for his courage after 28 years of our freedom to rehabilitate the homestead of Chief Hosea Kutako and to call for its upgrading.
In his biography, George F. Kennan, the illustrious American diplomeat pondered the destruction of Hamburg as we think about the genocide of the Hereros today and writes about that catastrophe as follows: “No momentary military advantage could justify the stupendous careless destruction of civilian life and of material values build laboriously by human hands over the course of centuries for any purposes having nothing to do with war.”
South African invincibility was a dream and not real, and the best it accomplished was to pull down its Apartheid racial temple over its own head following its defeat in Namibia and South Africa.
New Era Reporter
2019-02-08 12:15:39 6 months ago