WINDHOEK, 04 APR – As a young man, Sackey Namugongo was persistent in mobilising Namibians to join hands to free Namibia, Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma has said.
The former deputy director in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism died in Windhoek on Monday. He was 66.
Joining mourners at Namugongo’s residence in Windhoek Tuesday night, Nujoma said they grew up together in Windhoek’s Old Location before going into exile in 1974.
He said he remembers the late Namugongo, over the radio, encouraging young people to join the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia to liberate the country from colonialism.
“He was a talented young man who could speak very well, so he had the opportunity to study radio broadcasting in Zambia while some of us went to the front line.”
Nujoma said while in Zambia, Namugongo contributed enormously to the fight for independence through the Voice of Namibia, a Swapo radio channel during the liberation struggle.
“During the struggle the Voice of Namibia was very popular. When you switched on your radio, it was Sackey saying ‘Let us fight, do not lose your morals, we know the struggle is going to be long and bitter’. His voice kept us going and gave us faith that we would see Namibia free one day,” the minister said.
Namugongo started off as an announcer and translator for Oshiwambo radio and then moved on to English and Afrikaans. He was later promoted from being an announcer to a supervisor of the Voice of Namibia in Angola and Ethiopia.
After Namibia gained independence, Namugongo moved back to Namibia and was amongst the pioneers and founders of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, formerly known as the South West African Broadcasting Corporation.
“It was not easy to transfer the broadcaster, but Sackey was very instrumental in that change of structure. He waged another struggle of restructuring what was formerly owned by the white South Africans,” Nujoma said.
The minister encouraged the Namibian youth to emulate Namugongo’s example of steadfastness and determination.