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Tribute: Geingob - the Statesman and influencer

2024-02-24  Correspondent

Tribute: Geingob - the Statesman and influencer

Othilia Tutu Mungoba


The world over pop culture continues to reflect the cultural values, beliefs, and norms of a society.  It is influenced by the mainstream interests, preferences, and entertainment choices of a broad audience, often shaping and influenced by media, technology, fashion, music, film, sports, and social trends.  It serves as a platform for expression and identity formation, allowing individuals to connect with and define themselves within the context of their country’s culture.  As the land of the brave mourns the passing of the impressionable and without a doubt impeccable persona of the great Dr Hage G. Geingob, we cannot help but reminisce in awe how he not only influenced the political sphere but also the pop cultural aspect arena locally and internationally.

As with the numerous influxes of impressionable sentiments of the late head of State, the noticeable on-the-nose reference was his debonair sense of style and fashion. Fashion is not merely about apparel; it is a reflection of one’s societal values and individual expression. Across the globe, it contributes to the rich tapestry of global culture.  From traditional attire and indigenous textiles to avant-garde designs and streetwear trends, fashion serves as a visual language through which countries communicate their identity to the world. Dare I say, if Dr Hage G. Geingob had a clothing line of his renowned pinstriped suits and vibrantly coloured collection of shirts, many would have bought into owning at least one or two collectables.

Allow me to add a lil kapana spice commentary and mention the Dr’s assertive and pronounced walk because we all know you can’t wear the suit and not do the walk. Die man het net o’styla and o’swaga gehad…eerrggg!

The interconnected world of pop culture in shaping a country’s identity is undeniable and powerful through sports and with regard to our late president football took prominence. The beautiful game transcends borders, languages, and cultures, captivating audiences worldwide with its passion and drama.  Being a sportsman of sorts in his heydays, the late president Dr Hage G. Geingob fanatical love for the game of soccer made his support for the code not only an avenue for a display of athleticism and dedication but a platform of unity of the Namibian people over and above belonging.

The Dr Hage Geingob Cup is indicative of his developmental pledge to the sports fraternity and embodied the spirit and resilience of a nation, rallying citizens in times of triumph and adversity. From his fashion sense accord and sports fervour, the overflow of dance videos of our fallen hero is unmistakable for his musical affections, mainstream or traditional. Appreciative of the performing arts, Dr Geingob left many in pure amusement with his witty and jivy dance moves and was never shy to join in dance with performers of sorts.

Not only did Namibians love this side of His Excellency, but it also made him seem more humane and relatable, especially with the young who would also join in on the melodic quick and quirky contemporary moves. It goes without saying that the integration of Dr Geingob’s speech extracts and notable quotes into dance and amapiano tracks was tricky and risky trending grounds for local creatives. Like hot fat cakes, these compilations continue to flood the airwaves of Namibians near and abroad.

With constraints of movement during the pandemic “the prohibition of alcohol” song was downloaded, shared and posted hundreds of thousands of times and surely in fraternity statuses it would have gone double platinum.

President Geingob’s taking up office in 2015 coincided with one of the numerous paradigm shifts to impact our people and the world over, social media and contemporary political approaches. There was a robust integration of digital media culture, which serves as a powerful lens through which nations express their values, aspirations, and collective consciousness.

Unlike his predecessors, our late head of state was cognizant of its relatability to the younger and external demographic and how its accessibility would be an influential tool for cultural expression and cohesion.

Dr Geingob experienced his fair share of memes of digital animated artwork by creative online content creators and storytellers who used the virtual platform to raise, mobilise public opinion or simply have a comical jab at the head of state which gained him “influencer” online status hands down.

From a national affirmative note, I cannot help but underscore how being “woke” to worldly insights and intel was a catalyst to the implementation of numerous e-governance solutions across state entities and will continue to be on the agenda going forward.

As Namibians and the rest of their worldly brethren bid farewell to Dr Hage G. Geingob, he will be remembered as a visionary and impactful head of state, who leaves footprints that not only shaped us as a nation but will echo the timeless cadence of leadership. His legacy is not merely etched in the chronicles of power but woven into the fabric of positive change, a testament to the enduring influence of a leader who dared to dream and transformed those dreams into a reality that will resonate across generations. 

* Othilia Tutu Mungoba is a creative director and content strategist 

2024-02-24  Correspondent

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