First female Swapo combatant buried at Eenhana

09 Jun 2018 14:10pm
EENHANA, 09 JUN (NAMPA) – Hundreds of mourners from all over Namibia, including President Hage Geingob, gathered at Eenhana National Shrine in the Ohangwena Region to pay their last respects to war veteran Auguste “Mukwahepo” Immanuel on Saturday.
Immanuel, who was the first female to be trained regimentally in the defunct Swapo military wing, South West Africa Liberation Army, which preceded the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, died at the age of 80 in the Engela Hospital after illness on 30 May.
She was a resident of Omhedi village in the Ohangwena Region’s Ohangwena Constituency.
A memorial service also held at Eenhana on Friday preceded Immanuel’s funeral. Addressing the mourners and relatives at the service, Geingob described Immanuel as an extraordinary individual, a pioneer and heroine of the armed struggle for Namibia’s independence.
“Comrade Auguste Mukwahepo Immanuel was a heroine in the truest sense and in more ways than one,” Geingob cited.
According to Geingob, Immanuel was a pioneer and trailblazer to the Swapo party.
In 1964, at the age of 27, Immanuel left Namibia for exile to join other Namibians with the intent of fighting for a free Namibia.
“She ventured alone into the unknown, as the only woman amongst men,” Geingob stated.
The Head of State pointed out that he met Immanuel during the first half of 1964 after travelling to Léopoldville in Congo (DRC) from Botswana.
The late Andreas Shipanga, who was the Swapo representative in Congo then, introduced Immanuel to Geingob.
“The world she left behind in her motherland makes her achievement extraordinary,” stated the Namibian leader.
Even as a tough and fearless soldier, Geingob said Immanuel always exuded the innate qualities of motherhood, he added.
The Head of State went on to say Immanuel had an additional responsibility of nursing the children of fellow freedom fighters who were fighting at the forefront and some who had gone further afield to pursue their studies.
Geingob added that upon her returned to Namibia, Immanuel used her monthly war veterans’ grant to take care of 15 children of her deceased relatives, sending them to school and taking care of the household.
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah also attended the funeral.