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Windhoek honours icons from different spheres

2018-10-01  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

Windhoek honours icons from different spheres
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WINDHOEK – Kaujeua, Muundjua, Katjiuongua, Shiimi, Kamburona, Geingos, Katangolo and Tjitjo.
What possibly could all these family names have in common other than definitely that they are indigenous Namibian names, and of course the fact that they denote the country’s cultural diversity to a certain degree. They are all now posthumously the City of Windhoek’s latest corps of honorary residents with streets now named after them. This was on Friday at the city’s new building in the heart of the CBD at a ceremony presided over by the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen, on behalf of Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba. 

The ceremony, expectedly, was attended by the families of those who have been so recognised by the city for their various contributions in differing spheres of societal endeavours.  Politics, business, religion, education, social welfare reflected the lives of the honorees in their eclectic fullness. The honour befell the Kaujeua family via the musical exploits of none other than Namibian liberation struggle musical guru, Jackson Kaujeua, after whom Storch Street in the upmarket suburban area of Klein Windhoek has now been renamed. Credit in this regard, despite the fact that the late Jackson’s deeds speak volumes for themselves, and that he thus deserves this honour in his own right, be to the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam), that has been lobbying the city since 2010.

Two newly constructed streets branching off Lazarett Street, stretching from Mandume Ndemufayo in the Southern Industrial Area eastwards to Robert Mugabe Avenue, have been  named after John Garvey Muundjua and Moses Katjiuongua. Muundjua, amongst others, is credited with the mobilisation of the indigenous residents against their forceful removal from the Old Location, today’s Hochland Park, to Katutura as is still known today. Muundjua passed away last June and has been laid to rest in the Old Location cemetery, befittingly so, together with the martyr of the 1959 Old Location shooting in which eleven people were killed by South African soldiers. And befittingly so since this cemetery is now a national monument. The road overlooking this historic cemetery is now David Hosea Meroro, deservedly so as also one of the leaders in the resistance against forceful removal from the Old Location, and liberation struggle hero. Incidentally Muundjua and Katjiuongua who in life were cousins, are now neighbours sharing streets branching from Lazarett Street. 

The two are now once again, wherever they are, connected, to borrow from the sermonic introduction of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia bishop, Ernst Gamxamub, that unlike Windhoek’s “notorious” Eveline Street, streets are due to their straight nature, not curbed or crooked, normally places for social and informal gatherings. “Meeting places of justice, peace and sustainability,” ala the bishop. One cannot but wonder whether Muundjua and Katjiuongua will know that they are neighbours and continue to seek justice, peace and sustainability?

Zenobia Street in Klein Windhoek has been renamed Philip Shiimi Street after a budding Namibian financial expert whose life was cut short at the prime age of 43 years by a car accident on the Otjiwarongo-Otavi road in 2015. He was the chief executive officer of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) at the time of his passing on. Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street in Katutura’s Freedom Square has been renamed after Niilonga Patty Geingos, popularly known as Aunty Patty, former wife of the current president and who succumbed to a battle with cancer in 2014. She was part of the Pan-African movement in the US and was one of the first African-American women to grow an afro in protest of the many struggles then. 

Dusseldorf Street in Otjomuise has been renamed after Katjikuru Katjiuongua, father to Moses Katjiuongua, and one of the fierce petitioners of the League of Nations, and later the United Nations for the independence of the then South West Africa, with then Ovaherero Paramount Chief, Hosea Katjikururume Kutako. Tuin Street is now Juso Katangolo, named after the teacher, educator, educationalist, activist and freedom fighter. Two foremost clergy and liberation icons in their own league, bishops Asaria Kamburona and Patropasn Tjitjo, the latter father to Pan Africanist and a clergy himself, John Tjitjo, have also been honoured with streets in Katutura, the former Klaag and Kronieke and Genenis respectively.

This is by no means the end ala the mayor, Muesee Kazapua, with 14 streets already lined up for renaming, assuring the public that the council’s Sub-Committee on Street and Place Renaming is above board, inviting the public to bring suggestions but with the necessary motivations. Soon he would like to see those deserving of such honours being so honoured while alive. 

2018-10-01  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

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