Ya Toivo's legacy lives on at Ondangwa

15 Jun 2017 13:00pm
ONDANGWA, 15 JUN (NAMPA) - The people of Ondangwa are proud to be associated with the late struggle icon, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
Ya Toivo passed away on 09 June 2017 in the capital, aged 92.
He started his political activism at Ondangwa in the Oshana Region, where he also owned several businesses.
“We are very proud to be associated with his legacy,” said Ondangwa Town Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ismael Namgongo on behalf of the town’s residents.
Namgongo told Nampa Thursday Ya Toivo was one of the business pioneers at the town and left several businesses and a house at Ondangwa shortly after his arrest in 1966 for his involvement in politics.
Born at the Namangundu village in the Onyaanya District of the Oshikoto Region, Ya Toivo was an anti-apartheid activist, politician and political prisoner who was active in the pre-independence movement. He was also a co-founder of the South West African People’s Organisation in 1960, and its predecessor the Ovamboland People’s Organisation in 1959.
Ya Toivo served 16 years in prison on Robben Island in South Africa; in the same section as former South African president, the late Nelson Mandela.
Ya Toivo was released from prison in 1984 and rejoined Swapo in exile in Lusaka, Zambia.
He returned to Namibia in 1989 and served as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister until 2006 when he retired from active politics.
A modern business complex named after Ya Toivo was constructed here five years ago on a spot his house and several cucashops he owned were situated in the central business district of town.
A street and a senior secondary school at Ondangwa are also named after the liberation stalwart.
A memorial service in his honour will be held at the Ondangwa Trade Centre on Friday afternoon.
Ya Toivo will be buried in a State funeral at Heroes’ Acre in Windhoek on 24 June 2017.