Tsumeb mourns one of its own
10 June 2021 | People
The Tsumeb community was shocked by the death of teacher Lena Nakatana, who succumbed to Covid-19 on Thursday night.
Nakatana had worked as a teacher at Ondera Primary School in the Oshikoto Region since 2017.
There she involved herself in community projects, especially assisting the San community which had the most marginalised children. She was involved in educating Lucas Tsamseb, also known as Iri Ivari, who was being rehabilitated by the gender equality ministry from a life of substance abuse.
Nakatana’s brother, Michael Akuupa, said she would be remembered by the community because she touched so many lives.
Akuupa said his sister was a chatterbox, a people’s person who tried to accommodate everyone she interacted with, whether young or old.
This reporter interviewed Nakatana twice. The first encounter, she was on a course to help cancer patients along with Emma Kambangula. The two women both survived cancer and decided to team up in helping cancer patients. Their main aim was to set up a hospice.
Nakatana was diagnosed with lymphoma in April 1999. She beat the cancer. Kambangula spoke to Namibian Sun this week and described Nakatana as a friend to all.
“She went through a lot in her life but it didn't stop her from being the caring, bubbly and friendly person she was. She was a blessed linguist, so she could communicate with many people from all walks of life,” she said.
Kambangula said she met Nakatana in 2009 when her firstborn son was diagnosed with cancer.
She said many people admired Nakatana, not knowing that beneath her friendly smile hid a wounded woman.
“She moved to Ondera school to teach. The sufferings of the San community attracted her attention and I was drawn into another one of her many projects. She cooked for the kids and the community, tried to collect clothes and computers for her school as well.
“I was not asked but she ordered me to send food to Ondera. She even tried to rehabilitate a boy named by the public Iri Ivari. Unfortunately, this project failed because of the heartless people (adults) who continued to buy him alcohol and destroy the child's future, which broke her heart till her passing,” Kambangula said.
Nakatana is survived by four sisters and three brothers.