Eulogy to an unparalleled teacher and human being
Amongst them you find a number of heads of departments, senior education officials, principals, inspectors of education and even higher education lecturers. Now, that will seem interesting at first glance, but the reality is that this unique phenomenon from our village has been entrenched in our folklore from generation to generation since 1952, a time spanning seventy years.
Amongst the very best and exceptional teacher-educationists produced by this seemingly unending conveyer belt from Otjiungukwa Village are: Immanuel Kuero Kauta (the first teacher of Otjiungukwa Village, who studied at Stoffberg Memorial College in South Africa), Daniel Uatuva Kazekondjo, Dolly Brown, Obed Hiamboronyo Kamurongo, Siegfried Nyangato Tjikuzu, Peter Uazirapi Hiambazapo, Robert Kavezembi Kazekondjo and the list is goes and on!
On Friday, 29 April 2022, we learnt of the devastating news that one of the second generation of teachers hailing from Otjiungukwa Village, and one of the best ever product from Otjiungukwa Village, Meester Peter Uazirapi Hiambazapo is no more.
The late Peter Hiambazapo was destined to become a teacher, since this profession runs deep in the veins of many of us hailing from this Village. Otjiungukwa residents will hardly frown when they hear that one of their own is pursuing a teaching career, it is inherently part of the DNA of Otjiungukwa Village. Meester Hiambazapo thus, as destiny would dictate, became a leading teacher at Chief Kutako Primary School and Epako Secondary School. His outstanding leadership abilities and love for the teaching profession, would elevate him to become a Principal at Okamatapati Combined School, Epukiro Secondary School and Dr Fischer Primary School, schools at which he excelled and were people and communities speak in awe about his innate leadership abilities long after he retired.
As a teacher and Principal, Meester Hiambazapo was not only a source of knowledge and wisdom, but remained a constant inspiration for thousands of learners, through his motivation for them to professionally qualify themselves. Meester Hiambazapo possessed an extra-ordinary wealth of institutional memory of education and all its dynamics, and he generously shared details with every novice and aspiring teachers. Amidst all the changes of the Education system, especially after independence, Mr Hiambazapo remained an effective, reliable and a solid reference point throughout his highly acclaimed and successful career as a respected academic.
As a person, Meester Hiambazapo made life a little bit easier for thousands of us, than it was or would be. He transported us to schools and back free of charge, provided us with shelter, food and toiletries, tasks he was not obliged to do, but he was purely driven by a deep desire and love for human progress, and for these kind gestures, many of us will remain forever grateful.
His undying love for his children is well-recorded and it reached legendary status. He never compromised on the principle of protecting and bringing up the small ones in a safe environment, until they were old enough to fend for themselves. These children are all over Namibia, and are meaningfully contributing to the socio-economic advancement of Namibia, a glorious and fitting testimony of his rich legacy.
Like all great man, Meester Hiambazapo leaves indelible footprints of giant proportions in Namibia generally, but more specifically in Education and in Otjiungukwa Village. Many of us are in a better space now because of your unselfish acts throughout the years.
Thanks Meester, your legacy will never die as Otjiungukwa Village salutes one of its own. We are proud of you!
* Pecka Semba is the Director of Education, Arts and Culture in the Omaheke Region.