… Ya Toivo’s teaching days remembered
By Hileni Nembwaya
THERE sombre moments this week, involving both the pupils and teachers at St Mary’s Odibo Mission School, as they continue to mourn the death of their “advisor, counsellor and father”, liberation struggle icon, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
The anti-apartheid struggle icon died in his Klein Windhoek home last Friday, at the age of 92.
During his teaching days, Ya Toivo first taught at St Cuthbert’s School at Onamutayi, for about six months, before he was transferred to St Mary’s, where he taught until the end of 1951.
He later left for South Africa to further his studies.
St Mary’s acting principal Mekondjo Namwoonde told Confidente on Tuesday that the Ya Toivo had always been close to the school, and he has played an immense role in its upliftment and development.
“During his 90th birthday celebrations, our school was one of the chosen places to host his birthday party. Whenever, the late Ya Toivo was visiting the northern areas, he always made sure that he visited our school. He was very close to the school and we loved him very much,” said Namwoonde.
“Three years ago, he sponsored to pay school fees for two pupils, who were from disadvantaged communities, for the whole year. He did this out of good will and those pupils also made sure that they performed to the best of the abilities, and they both passed with flying colours.”
Namwoonde said that Ya Toivo also made it a priority to source funds for the school’s development and he would always donate the little that he had to the school.
He said that the void that late liberation icon has left is too huge to be filled, as he was the only elder whose heart was close to the school and contributed a lot to the school.
“We are really touched by his sudden departure. No words are enough to express how we feel. We have lost a giant, who was going to contribute a lot to the school. We have lost the father of our school,” said the sobbing Namwoonde.
The last time Ya Toivo visited the school was in 2015, for his 90th birthday celebrations.
Teacher Immanuel Vaendanawa said the school had lost someone who meant the world to them.
“I am one of the few lucky people to have met the late Ya Toivo and I will forever cherish the good memories I shared with him. We have lost someone who meant a lot to us. He always made sure that the school had funds to keep it running, and he was always ready to respond to our needs. We have lost a humble soul. May his lovely soul rest in eternal peace,” said Vaendanawa.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015