Allow me to use your esteemed newspaper in paying tribute to a Caprivian – a resolute, principled and eloquent political activist of the Caprivi Strip in Namibia late Robert Kamwi Sililo who passed away in March 2014.
Yes, one of us is gone – a teacher and a Caprivian political figure. A man who had walked the talk and lived his life to the fullest.
Robert Kamwi Sililo, many will miss you!
As a boy who used to frequent Caprivi Secondary School in the late 70s and the 80s, I came to know of Robert Kamwi Sililo as a freedom fighter committed to the independence of Namibia.
I was young, but I can vividly see a man who enjoyed wearing Swapo and Nanso T-shirts when such an act by itself was labelled as “terrorism” by Apartheid South African Security Forces.
Robert Kamwi Sililo was a man who enjoyed talking to young people of all tribes without bias. Indeed, he was a humble human being whose love for a free and independent Namibia had been one of his lived and realized dreams.
On the political activism within the region after Namibian independence, there is no better way of saying it, but people of the Caprivi Strip have lost a selfless man, whose only joy was to see and fight for all Caprivians to enjoy the sacrifices made by our forefathers who died for our freedoms.
For many Caprivians, they can recount Robert Kamwi Sililo’s contributions to the liberation struggle of an independent Namibia, so was his commitment in seeing that inhabitants of the Caprivi Strip reaped the rewards of a free nation – recognition and respect of a people – fairness and equality.
Only a few months ago, Robert Kamwi Sililo and many brave Caprivians had played a pivotal role in denouncing the imposed name over the region, so is the expropriation of land from the Caprivi Strip.
If anything, Robert Kamwi Sililo was a man! He stood-up for our rights! He spoke without fear!
Some might wonder of the over-used “Caprivian” and the “Caprivi Strip” in the tribute. Certainly, if I were to use anything less to mask what he stood for as a proud Caprivian from the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, I would be betraying what he represented to many inhabitants of the region – that voice for Caprivians, which will be missed dearly.
As many mourn a fallen hero and a political giant in his own right, my condolences to the bereaved family. May our Almighty Father provide them with a grieving shoulder during this very testing times.
For the fallen Caprivian hero, many salute you! We will always have a special place for you in our hearts – May your soul rest in peace.