Riruako 'was the glue that kept the family together'

04 Jun 2014 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako was a fighter and his bravery and determination to live life to the full was an inspiration, family spokesperson Dr Hoze Riruako said on Tuesday.
Recalling the late Chief’s final hours, Riruako said since being hospitalised on 26 April this year, his family saw the same fighting spirit he displayed throughout his life.
The family spokesperson was speaking at the Commando Hall in Katutura on Tuesday, when President Hifikepunye Pohamba accompanied by First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba and Prime Minister Hage Geingob paid their respects to the late Chief.
Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the hall since Monday to mourn Riruako.
The OvaHerero Paramount Chief passed away in the Roman Catholic Hospital on Monday afternoon after spending several weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Ever since his hospitalisation, he has been coming and going. Some days he responded well to medication and others not, but one could clearly see that he was really fighting the illness,” Hoze Riruako indicated.
Chief Riruako, who was also the president of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), was diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The spokesperson also indicated that the late Chiefremained a strong character throughout his last days.
He added that for the family, as well as the OvaHerero community, Chief Riruako represented a “very big tree” that provided shade which everybody sat under.
“But now this tree has fallen and everybody is left in the sun. From the family’s side this is a great loss and it is a void that will take time to be filled,” Riruako said, adding that what the family will miss most about the political stalwart is his laughter.
He also noted that the late Chief could show up at any gathering and relate to the people there.
“When he would be with the elders, he would behave like an older person and then he would relate in a very jovial and fun way with the youngsters, so he was everybody’s person,” the family spokesperson recalled.