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Blue Town mourns former resident Geingob

07 Feb 2024

Residents of Blue Town in Francistown have expressed sadness at the death of Namibian President, Dr Hage Geingob.

Dr Geingob, who passed away in the early hours of Sunday at a hospital in Windhoek, lived in the area as a political refugee during the struggle for Namibia’s independence.

Many residents of Blue Town remember Geingob fondly and are grateful for his contributions to the community.

They recall his compassion, generosity, and commitment to the cause of his country’s independence.

For some, he was a mentor, teacher, and leader. Others remember him as a friend who brought hope and inspiration to the people of Blue Town.

Ms Priscilla Kaoyao said in an interview that Dr Geingob’s time in Blue Town was a defining moment in the history of the location and Namibia as a whole, and his loss is a heavy blow for the Blue Town community.

Ms Kaoyao recalled that Dr Geingob lived in a small shack known as the 'White House', a humble home that belied his stature and influence.

She explained that despite his modest living conditions, the late Dr Geingob was a gracious and dignified person in the community of Blue town.

She said the White House in Blue town might have been named after the iconic White House in Washington D.C., the home of the American President.

"Like its counterpart, the White House in Blue Town symbolised a place of dignity, hope, and unity.

For the people of Blue Town, Dr Geingob was like a President, someone who stood for justice and equality," said Ms Kaoya, whose house in Blue town now stands.

She also indicated that the white colour also represented purity of intention and a commitment to peace and reconciliation.

"The name 'White House' signified that Dr Geingob was a man of integrity and a leader for all people," she said.

She said the structure was demolished by then then Francistown Town Council and she was allocated a plot where the structure used to be.

Ms Kaoyao shared her heartfelt sorrow at the passing of Dr Geingob, whom she described as a man of courage and conviction.

"If it was not for my ailing brother, I would have travelled to Namibia to pay my respects to the man who always treated me like family," she said.

Another Blue town resident, Ms Mpho Ofetotse, who shares a wall screen boundary with Ms Kaoyao said the late Dr Geingob often spoke of the importance of education and self-determination, and his words resonated with many.

“His vision for a free and independent Namibia inspired hope and gave the people of Blue Town something to believe in,” she said.

She said Dr Geingob was a teacher, a mentor and a great leader who liked teaching history and how he hated colonialism.

“I am not surprised that he eventually became president because he always predicted that during our interaction with him,” she said."No wonder why Dr Geingob was a dear friend of our President, and I understand why.

I wish he could have come to Blue Town to see just how much his presence here meant to us," she added

Another resident, Ms Sylvia Morima indicated that the White House in question housed people like Sam Nujoma, who would become the founding president of Namibia, his successor, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba and the late Dr Geingob.

“I played with the first two presidents whilst they stayed at the White House. They were friendly people and they always gave us food,” she said.

However, for the late Dr Geingob, Ms Morima said she never set her eyes on him but she heard that he also lived in the same dwelling place, which she said was a government refugee camp owned by the government of Botswana.

Ms Morima further indicated that at some time, a delegation from Namibian came to Francistown proposing to turn the place in Blue Town into a monument or museum, as a way to honour all those who once lived there and their contribution to the independence struggle.“The project would have been a way to preserve the history of the struggle and honour the many people who fought for freedom,” said Ms Morima.

She however, said the status of the project remain uncertain and it is unclear if it will ever come to fruition.“But for the residents of Blue Town, the idea holds great significance, though its fate remains unknown,” Ms Morima pointed out. Ends



Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : Francistown

Event : Interview

Date : 07 Feb 2024