31 May 2019 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 31 MAY (NAMPA) While paying tribute to a man he described as a confidant, gentle giant, mentor and father, President Hage Geingob could not help but cry as he paid his last respects to departed former Vice President, Dr Nickey Iyambo.
Testament to the bond the two shared, Geingob halfway through his statement was reduced to tears at Parliament Gardens on Friday during a memorial service held in Iyambos honour.
When the Head of State took the podium, he clarified how difficult a task it is to speak on Iyambos loss.
It seems this challenge is becoming more frequent. Weighed down by the mood of sorrow, we are forced to put on a brave face as the dark cloud of sombreness looms above, Geingob told the mourners.
The President went on to say Iyambos physical presence may be a thing of the past, but as we wrestle with grief, we are comforted that our dearly departed was a man who lived a life of purpose, a life of sacrifice and a life of passion.
Geingob also remembered Iyambos genuine humility and said he had a temperament many would envy.
It is these and other features that made him Iyambo the go-to person when lifes pressures forced him down a cul-de-sac.
This gentle giant was the consummate confidant. Someone in whom one could confide and be certain that what was discussed would remain between the two of you. Such integrity and honesty are rare in todays world and this is why Dr Nickey Iyambo was a bona fide friend and comrade to me and many others, Geingob narrated.
However, it was not long before the president broke down into tears.
Ever since the sad news of comrade Iyambos passing, Namibia has joined you in mourning, to share in your sorrow and we share in the consternation and grief that fills you, an emotional Geingob told the late Iyambos wife, Johanna.
Despite the pain of loss for which there is no natural remedy except the solace offered by our lord in heaven, we hope you can find comfort in the national outpouring of grief for this decorated and much-loved son of Namibia, he added.
Geingob went on to describe Iyambo as a selfless individual who served his country passionately towards the attainment of its developmental objectives.
Iyambo died in Windhoek on 19 May, aged 82.
He will be buried at the Heroes Acre on Saturday.
Among several portfolios, Iyambo served as Vice President from 2015 until his resignation in February 2018 due to health concerns.