The recent out of the blue renaming of a busy street in honour of departed self styled “football fan” one Robbie Savage, located in Swakopmund’s largest residential area, Mondesa to be precise, calls for a serious debate and thorough interrogation.
Just as recently, one of Windhoek’s historic streets Beethoven was made to make way for the late Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero Dr Kuaima Riruako.
For starters, many a Town Councillor does not have the slightest of clues the sentimental value some of these randomly removed street names hold to some of the country’s residents irrespective of colour, political affiliation, tribe or race for that matter.
A quick reminder, Ludwig van Beethoven was a noted German music composer and phenomenal pianist. The brother was a musical genius, indeed a crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music.
Up to his day, Beethoven remains one of the most recognised and influential of all classical music composers, alongside fellow compatriots Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach.
To erase their names amounts to distortion of history, notably for some of us who have spent years of study in classical music and theory.
Beethoven was without a shadow of doubt the defining figure in the history of Western music. Those entrusted to administer and redefine our towns should not just wake up in the morning and decide to remove historical statutes without consideration.
Don’t get me wrong, its good to honour our heroes past and present, including those who have contributed immensely to the overall development of our nation, but alas, this should not be done at the expense of other heroes.
Yours truly has a bone to pick with the Swakopmund Municipality for naming a street in Mondesa after the late Robbie Savage while more deserving true sons of Mondesa Hermann “Pele” Blaschke, Ruby Kamulu, Archie van der Ploeg and Benjamin “Kleintjie” Gaseb have been confined to the dustbin of has beens.
Needless to remind those who dare listen that van der Ploeg was a noted guitarist who took the internationally acclaimed lead guitarist Trevor Rabin of Rabitt and Yes fame (owner of a lonely heart) through the ropes.
Gaseb earned Springbok colours as an amateur footballer during the apartheid era, certainly no mean feat while the pair of Blaschke and Kamulu achieved greater heights in local football.
History is going to judge us harshly one day when our offsprings start asking questions out of sheer curiosity. Seriously, what would I tell my grandchildren one day who was Robbie in real life when they start posing tricky questions to me? I’m just wondering. There is an urgent need to interrogate the set criteria for honouring our heroes.
It’s very sad that blokes such as Doc Hardly (Grootfontein) Oscar Mengo (Okahandja) Ranga Lucas, Percy Montgomery (both Walvis-Bay) Andre Stoop, Celle Auchumeb (both Tsumeb) Brazo Gomusab (Karibib) but to name a few, do not have streets named after them in their respective towns of birth. I rest my case.
2019-01-11 10:33:19 5 months ago