Michael David Tareekuje Meroro: The son of David Hosea Meroro has died

Dear Editor,

l was amongst the 10 people who were allowed to attend the memorial service of the late Professor Kerina at Parliament Gardens on 3 July 2021, when I received a call from my mother informing me about the passing on of my father to the unknown world. My father, who was born and bred in Windhoek, was the son of the late indomitable political legend, revolutionary and hero of the liberation struggle, David Hosea Meroro, former national chairman of Swapo. His mother was Edla Kuruha Riarua Marenga.

On that fateful day, Dr Kaire Mbuende advised me to leave the memorial service if I was not feeling well. However, I chose to attend the memorial service until the end. As fate would have it, we were also mourning my step-grandmother Meme Hilia Ndalipo Meroro who died of cardiac arrest and my father died of Covid -19 after he was hospitalised for five days. May their souls rest in peace.

The untimely passing of my father was awfully painful to me. However, I am taking courage in the word of God that He will carry us all through this. Having grown up in a political home, my father was a political animal who was totally sold out to Swapo. He was the first deputy chairperson of the Maherero Section when it was formed in 1986, following a directive from Comrade Marco Hausiku then branch secretary of Windhoek Branch. That section by then covered almost all, if not the whole of Katutura Central.

He was later elected as its chairperson. Together with comrades such as Steve Katjiuanjo, Kazenambo Kazenambo, John Tjiposa, Vekaja Tjihonge, Fanuel Kaapama and Usiel Uazikiza they served as Swapo field soldiers and mobilisers in the 1989 elections. They were deployed in various regions as part of the preparation for the 1989 elections. He died serving as the secretary for Information, Mobilisation and Publicity of the Swapo Elders’ Council, Katutura Central. He died a recognised veteran of the liberation struggle by the government for his immense contribution to the total independence of Namibia.

My father was a skilful businessman, a politician and a modern farmer. His image or identity was a clear resemblance of his father.

He was ever the optimist who would always view the glass as half full instead of half empty. His sunny perspective encouraged and empowered those around him. When it comes to consistency, you could count on him and he would always stick it out – until the job got done. He was bold and creative in his thinking.

He was humble, calm, soft spoken, patient and yet stubborn in an unnoticed way – especially when the occasion so demanded.

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He was a man of very few words but with a heart of a lion. He was very collected and polite, yet you could not succeed to convince him otherwise once he had taken a position.  Many knew him as a man who could stand his ground, firm and perseverant. He had a strong character and personality. One of his closest brothers on the maternal side is Chief Shadow Muzire Tjakuva from Otjikaoko Royal House – who stood firm with him through thick and thin.

At times, it was very difficult to know my father’s next plans. Not only was he a father to me but he was a comrade too. Sometimes we had different views on issues including politics. Sometimes that led us to agreeing or disagreeing based on the merits and demerits of the political issue at stake. Sometimes we would debate for hours on end. During weekends we would invite one another for catch up like friends do and wined together.

l remember there was commotion in Katutura Central at one of the Swapo elections which almost caused our relationship to sour. l didn’t want my father to dictate to me when it comes to holding my own political views.  l always believed that his right as my father should be confined to family matters and it should not encroach on my political choices and decisions. Apart from those occasional disagreements we really did not have issues with each other and we enjoyed and cherished each other as father and son. He and I have always been Swapo loyalists to the hilt- that legacy will continue.

He had deep creative roots and would always try to complete a new project and venture into uncharted territory, which was an exercise in discovery and intuition. He would use a lesson he learned from his father and applied that in a thoughtful way. He was an active participant in the struggle for independence, democracy and social justice. He was an inspiration to those who dared to dream that a new human order could be created based on mutual respect.

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More than anything else he was a strategist, a tireless fighter, gentle, courteous and vigilant.

What makes me feel strong is the fact that children should bury their parents; parents should not bury their children because that is a pain too heavy to carry.  Children are an extension of their parents and therefore parents cannot bear the pain of burying their children. My father is survived by four sons: McDavid, Uaueza , Himeetira and Okeri.

May God be so close to all of us during this difficult moment. I hope God will be in our presence. l would also like to salute the souls of my elders whom I was very close to, but was not able to pay tribute to. These are especially  H.E Dr Zedekia Tjitana Ngavirue (a family member), Comrade Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange , Chief Kilus Nguvauva ( a family member) and late PC Advocate Vekuii Rukoro (family member). My deepest condolences also go to other Namibians who lost their loved ones due to Covid-19 and other causes.

May all their souls rest in eternal peace!

* McDavid Meroro