WINDHOEK, 05 SEP – Wednesday was no ordinary day at Gammams Primary School as hundreds of Namibians converged on the school’s hall to pay tribute to slain nine-year-old, Cheryl Avihe Ujaha.
Ujaha’s lifeless body was found by a passerby in Khomasdal last week, after she was reported missing on 26 August.
Her body was seemingly burnt and her head, arms and legs cut off, while the internal organs had been removed. The police are yet to arrest a suspect and on Wednesday appealed for anyone with information on the matter to contact them.
Delivering an emotional eulogy, her aunt Cynthia Kauami described Ujaha as determined, ambitious, articulate and visionary and said she was a natural leader.
“She wanted to become a teacher, a principal,” she said. Her family would time and again ask her “Avihe, why do you want to be a principal?” and the little girl would say she wanted to buy her mother a big house and a car.
While trying to maintain her composure, Kauami further said Ujaha had purpose and direction in life.
“She always said ‘I want smart friends like me. I don’t want those who just buy you chips and sweets’,” she recalled.
A slideshow of photographs and video clips of Ujaha, from her time as a toddler until the age of her passing, was played, which reduced those in attendance to tears.
Signs of anger, questions, fear and despair could be seen on the faces of the mourners.
These emotions were summed up in a statement delivered by 16-year-old Kelly-Jane van Rooi from Delta Secondary School.
Van Rooi spoke about how girls fear simple things like walking down the street or wearing a skirt.
“Men continue to think of women as objects or that they were put on this earth to serve them,” she said.
She added that men are quick to dismiss this by saying “not all men are the same”.
To those who hold this view, Van Rooi had this to say: “Enough men have this mindset for all women to constantly live their lives in fear.”
The memorial service was amongst others attended by Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi, Ujaha’s parents, other family members, classmates and teacher Angelika Kandovazu, as well as learners from various Windhoek schools.
Ujaha will be laid to rest on Saturday at the Gammams Cemetery in Pionierspark. – NAMPA