Nacada: the combatant commander (Part 1)

By General Martin Shalli

IN the midst of corona virus pandemic with its economic rampage, lockdown, fear, death, internet conspiracy theories and infodemic, Namibia commemorates 42nd anniversary of the Cassinga massacre and the battle of Chetequera. In remembrance of all those who died, shed blood and survived on this day, we pay tribute to all of them. May their souls continue to rest in eternal peace! And may their blood continue to water our freedom! We salute them and in the hope that their revolutionary spirit help to continue to serve as a glue of unity, patriotism, solidarity, peace and justice.

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Winning anti corona battle requires a united front and cooperation from everyone. Namibians have always in their history demonstrated a purpose of winning and this time it cannot be different.

This article is a tribute and dedication to the life and death of Comrade and Commander Wilbard Vayakohambo Tashiya Nacada Chicololo hereinafter referred to as Nacada. He died in battle at Vietnam base on the 04 May 1978 aged 34 years. Nacada was born in 1944 at a village of Omholo, on the northern outskirts of what is Outapi town today in the Omusati Region. Omholo means luck. He was the second born in the family of eight plus one, four boys and four girls. They are late Jason, late Nacada, Magano, Otto Temba, Festus Shifotoka, late Teresia Nangula and late Immanuel Shekwiindi. The plus one is an adopted sibling Iyetushilako Anna Maria whose mother passed on shortly after giving birth at Onakayale Hospital in 1944. The mother of Anna-Maria was from Angola and after her death no family could be traced till at the time of writing this piece.

As a result, Nacada`s mom adopted her and had to breast feed three babies at the same time, her own Nacada, her sister`s son Josephat Shanghala whose mother also passed away while he was about three months old and the adopted baby. This was by all measures not an easy feat given the circumstances of the time. Josephat Shanghala went on to become a Bishop of the Lutheran Church. The Bishop`s father Kautondokwa Shanghala ya Kashindi was a veteran of the Second World War.

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Nacada’s parents are Tatekulu Katofa Sheya Tashiya, a veteran of the Second World War and Meekulu Elizabeth Mpingana who died in 2014 aged 97. Comrade Nangolo Mbumba, Comrade Sophia Shaningwa, who is a native of Ombalantu and distant neighbor and I had the honour to attend her funeral where we made short statements. Surprisingly none of us knew that she lived until the announcement of her death.

Katofa Tashiya died after independence aged 89.

Nacada’s grandparents were Kuku Albertina and Sakeus Iihuhua from Onayena and Oniipa respectively and who once but very briefly settled at Omapale during the reign of Senior Councillor Kambode ka Nepaya. This location is situated at late Hans Namuhuya`s residence at Oniipa. No wonder so many Namuhuya`s family members attended the burial.

Sakeus Iihuhua initially trained as a teacher at Oniipa. Upon graduation he was assigned to Uuyoka, Onayena constituency and this is where he met Albertina who later became his wife.

After a short stint at Uuyoka he was recalled and assigned to Omholo in Ombalantu district of Ovamboland as a head teacher and evangelist. He took his wife with and settled there ever since. Towards the end of 1916 he returned to Oniipa to enroll as a theological student and on the 27 September 1925 he together with six others were ordained and thus making history by becoming the first seven Lutheran priests in Ovamboland. He was then assigned to Ombalantu to establish the Onakayale Parish thus becoming the founding priest. He and his wife lived and died at Onakayale where they are buried. Later his young priest brother, Ombandja Iihuhua, was to found the Onesi Parish in the Uunkolokadhi district of Omusati Region.

Like all boys at the time, Nacada was well schooled in home science of tendering to family animals and doing all sorts of household chores such as fixing the huts, milking animals, repairing and renewing fences, and cultivating mahangu fields.

All of that is in addition to attending school. He was baptized at Omholo on the same day as his siblings he was jointly breast feeding. His Godparents are Jacob Shipwata and Anna Kahima. He was later confirmed into the Holy Community of God at the same place.

His pre-primary school teachers at Omholo were among others Meme Lea, Paulus Dumeni (the father to Bishop Cleophas Dumeni), Sophia Kasheya, Erastus Haikali and Leonard Situku.

In 1958, he joined the Boys School at Onakayale and completed Standard Six there in 1962 affectively becoming part of the third standard six group in the entire Ovamboland. His teachers were Andreas Shingenge, Gerson Ndjembela and two Finnish teachers Mr Arrivo and his wife Iirya.

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Between 1963 and 1965, he attended the Ongwediva High School where he met and reunited with fellow students such as Nangolo Mbumba, Nangolo Iithete, Nahas Angula, Matti Amadhila, Naftali Amadhila, Isaac Pondo Shikongo, Sheeli Shangula, Jesaya Nyamu, Thomas Shiimi, Kahima Eembumbulu, Noah Nujoma (young brother of Founding President), Sam Ndeikwila, November Mthoko, Naftali Hamata and many others. The principal of Ongwediva School was a Finnish gentleman by the name of Nico Ihamakki.

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Continues next week