'Formidable' Nora remembered

Nora Schimming-Chase is remembered as a formidable freedom fighter who played a major role in Namibian politics before and after independence.

14 March 2018 | People

Veteran politician Nora Schimming-Chase has been remembered as a formidable freedom fighter. The former Congress of Democrats (CoD) parliamentarian died in a Windhoek hospital yesterday morning after a long illness. She was 77.

President Hage Geingob was one of the first leaders to convey his condolences to the bereaved family.

“I have learned with sadness about the death of family friend and outstanding Namibian servant, Comrade Nora Schimming-Chase. Cde Nora and Cde Libertine Amathila joined as brave female freedom fighters Comrade Putuse Appolus in Dar es Salaam in the 1960s. I wish the family strength,” Geingob said on his official Twitter page.

Veteran diplomat Tuliameni Kalomoh described Schimming-Chase as an unyielding freedom fighter who pledged unconditional loyalty to Namibia.

Schimming-Chase was Namibia's first ambassador to Germany and was regarded a steadfast legislator who set a very high standard.

“I think while we mourn her passing we must certainly celebrate her accomplishments. She fought till the end and that defines her character. Nora had a very sharp intellect and whatever assignment she was given as a diplomat she accomplished successfully,” said Kalomoh.

Kalomoh described the late Schimming-Chase as a very dear friend and an invaluable advisor to himself and later generations of diplomats.

“She was a mentor to many young diplomats in the foreign affairs ministry which she had joined in 1990.”

The late politician's daughter, Afra Schimming-Chase, remembers her mother as a very proud woman who struggled with the fact that others had to care for her during her last days when she was seriously ill.

“She did not take it well to be in a bed and cared for by others. She has lived a full life and we could always catch up with her with the latest 'juice' on the political scene. She had the 'juice', although she was isolated,” she said.

The late politician, who started her career as a member of South West Africa National Union (Swanu), co-founded the Congress of Democrats in 1999, a name she coined and also chose the party's slogan 'A New Beginning'.

Her co-founder, Ben Ulenga, expressed his sadness at her passing, describing Schimming-Chase as a phenomenal champion of human rights. He added that she left deep tracks in the country's political landscape and must be remembered for her immense contribution to the freedom of the Namibian people.

“Nora did quite a lot to uplift the fight for women's rights. She must be remembered as someone who has certainly done her bit to make Namibia a better place for women in particular,” she said.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation also expressed condolences. Permanent secretary Selma Ashipala-Musavyi echoed the sentiment that the late diplomat always delivered a stellar performance in whatever job she was given.

“Wherever Nora Schimming-Chase served, she made a difference; service with diligence was her single purpose. Loyalty to her country was her defining characteristic.

She was a bright woman, full of life. She was a constant source of encouragement to junior staff members and sound advice for her colleagues,” she said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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