Glowing tributes have been pouring in for former Swapo parliamentarian Chief Samuel Ankama, who died on Sunday in a northern hospital aged 63.
Ankama is also a former deputy minister at various ministries and the founding mayor of Oshakati.
He has been eulogised by Uukwambi chief Herman Iipumbu as a brilliant special advisor to the traditional authority.
“He was a helpful person. He contributed so much to this country, especially in our community. He trained people with various skills, from teaching to lecturing,” said Iipumbu.
“When he was mayor for Oshakati town council, he facilitated the availability of land to the University of Namibia that brought education to the people. He was a good and a brilliant leader.”
Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa also expressed her sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.
“We remember him from the teaching profession as a committed academician. He actively participated in politics before and after independence. He served in different portfolios. He was a member of the Swapo Party central committee and a member of parliament as well as a deputy minister. He was very open-minded and can debate on principles of facts. We lost a very brilliant person. We lost an icon of the party,” Shaningwa said.
Former home affairs minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana described Ankama’s death as a big loss to his family, country and Swapo.
“I lost a revolutionary, an entrepreneur, a friend, a comrade with great ideas to develop where he comes from. He was in the process to launch a big project at Embandu. He invited me to attend the launch but due to other commitments, I did not attend it. I lost a friend but his family, his wife, children lost a breadwinner. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” she said.
Ankama served as a Swapo MP between 2005 until 2019.
He was actively involved in politics in the 1980s and was an internal Swapo activist.
Ankama left the Oshakati mayoral position in 1995 when he received a scholarship to study at the University of Warwick in England, where he graduated from in 1996 with a MA in language studies.
In 2001, he received a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States towards his PhD, which he earned in 2003 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in literacy and culture.
His PhD dissertation was in indigenous Namibian languages in the national education system.
From 2003 to 2005, Ankama worked in several senior positions at the University of Namibia’s northern campus in Oshakati.
In 2005, he was selected for the Swapo’s list for the National Assembly and was elected to the 4th National Assembly. He is a former deputy minister of works and transport as well as fisheries.