Column

Immortality was always on the cards


Musa Zimunya (Jr)

WINDHOEK, OCT. 6 – “My life is my message,” said Mahatma Gandhi.

In a world where the word life itself resembles nothing but a facet of technological livelihood,  where events jolt people back to reality, only a writer can fathom the task of bringing back his readers upon a semblance of reality.

It is obvious that the opposite of life is death.

Mine is a generation oblivious to the life expectancy studies that highlight, for example: Africa has an average of 61 years for males and 64 for females life expectancy.

There are multiple statistics that talk to the generation riddled by a quagmire of problems. However, there are no statistics that account for Mr Desie Heita nor his untimely demise.

I laboured to find freak accidents in Africa on Google, and most results landed on how ‘Africa has 2% of world’s cars but 20% of road deaths,’ so that particular train of though has reached its untimely demise.

But another soul that reached its untimely demise, is that man Desie Heita.

Job 1:21 – God Gives and God Takes Away

I was privileged to have worked under his scrutiny once upon a time. Some of my openings/introductions are testament to his influence.

I spoke with a colleague who rekindled her memories of writing under his auspices.

Vimbai Karumazondo and I worked with Desie for a while at New Era Publications as reporters who – constantly under his beady eye.

I asked her to describe her memories of this great scribe, and she said:”Desi was a straight talking guy with the biggest heart I know… Having had the privilege of working with him, he was a walking encyclopedia… He spoke experience and he was experience.”

If my eyes were dam sluices, then I can justify flooding my keyboard.

She added: “He was always ready to guide. I remember him taking the time to ask if people were OKAY, and he always had THAT smile on his face…ALWAYS caring. He took pride in what he did…it is a great loss to the fraternity. May his lively soul rest in eternal peace.”

Managing Editor from New Era Toivo Njebela gave a glimpse of the dedication and unmatchable environment that constituted Heita’s presence.

Ndjebela said: “Des was an embodiment of professionalism in the true sense of the word. He took his job seriously and would not allow his by-line to sit on a, as he would say, Mickey Mouse story.

“He was very organised and never rushed stories until he had all facts in. He understood that journalism was not an 8 to 5 (PM) job and would thus always ask [me] whether there’s anything I wanted him to do before he leaves. If I answer affirmatively, he would jump on the task right away. Namibian journalism will be poorer without him,” said Ndjebela.

The realm of journalism requires tact, summarised events articles without the unnecessary dramatics, and for me as a writer, his advice was a beacon that led me out of the abyss.

Desie’s level of professionalism consisted of high standards that are unparalleled.

May God Rest His Soul In Peace.

We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of a true friend, and passionate journalist.  

@DesieHeita