Grief-stricken Namibians from all walks of life have expressed their deepest condolences towards the family of the late educationalist and war veteran, Martin Lazarus Shipanga who passed away Sunday. Shipanga, who was due to celebrate his 89th birthday in September, died at his residence in Hochland Park in Windhoek.
Founder and executive chairman of Shipanga Holdings, Martin Kaali Shipanga, who is the namesake and grandchild to the late, confirmed the educationalist’s death, saying, “He lived a very healthy lifestyle and was not a sickly person.”
The late who was known by many, as “Meester Shipanga” was a war veteran of the liberation struggle and a veteran in the Namibian education fraternity.
Shipanga was a teacher and school principal at Augustineum in Okahandja during the 1960s before he was promoted to the level of inspector and he later became an education director.
Various notable figures such as President Hage Geingob, National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi, Reverend Andreas Biwa, Dr Libertina Amathila, and sport minister Agnes Tjongarero, are among those who went through Shipanga’s hands at Augustineum.
Late politicians such as Hidipo Hamutenya, Theo-Ben Gurirab and Moses Tjitendero also went through his classroom.
President Geingob extended his sincere condolences to the Shipanga family, following the loss of what he termed “a family man, a father, an uncle, my teacher Tate Martin Lazarus Shipanga.”
Geingob said the late Shipanga’s kind but firm approach to education left an indelible legacy on many who were his students.
Namibian Ambassador to China Elia Kaiyamo said he came to know Shipanga since 1968 when he was transferred from Okahandja’s old Augustineum to Windhoek to take up his new post as an inspector of education. “We the teachers were comfortable with him because his approach of leadership in education circles was very kind and unique. He did not have it easy with his white superiors because he was a “free soul” who could speak his mind. He was forceful and strategic and he knows what is good for his country. He was knowledgeable about any topics. His love for education was second to none,” Kaiyamo, described the late Shipanga.
He said Shipanga was a nationalist, who was strong during the independence struggle that led to the liberation of Namibia.
The late Shipanga also engineered the construction of Katutura state hospital, after he put a motivation together around 1973, to get funding from the German government, which ultimately materialised.
He also served on Namibia’s first delimitation commission, as well as on the electoral commission appointed by founding father Sam Nujoma.
Shipanga also served on Standard Bank and Sanlam boards.
On the business front, he was the first black person to own a shop in Katutura before independence and he is the founding chairman of the Black Chain complex.
Shipanga was recognised as a war veteran for his contribution towards the liberation movement, especially among student movements.
Swanu president Tangeni Ijambo described Shipanga as a person who was passionate about education and contributed significantly to Namibia.
“He was an articulate and knowledgeable man who spoke for the community. He was supposed to be recognised philosophically. He was someone who contributed a lot to education. The government was supposed to recognise and give him what he deserves,” Ijambo said.
The late Shipanga will be laid to rest on Saturday at Pioneers Park cemetery.
2020-06-30 11:11:27 12 days ago