Expanding youth knowledge on African Liberation Day

An event centered on Quito Cunavale and the Southern African Liberation.
The annual commemoration of Southern Africa Liberation Day was celebrated earlier this week at the Independence Memorial Museum.
Precious Nghitaunapo
Learners from various schools in Windhoek and students from the University of Namibia (Unam) attended the commemoration. The event was officiated by Cuban ambassador to Namibia, Sidenio Ascota Aday, who was at the forefront of Quito Cunavale in 1989, and was directed by Boyson Ngondo from the education ministry. The event is served as a commemoration to all the fallen heroes and the Cuban forces who contributed greatly to Namibia’s independence as well as the liberation of southern African countries.

23 March has been declared as the annual commemoration of Southern African Liberation Day. The event was orchestrated to highlight all the events that took place around the Quito Cunavale incident in the late 1980s.

“The series of events, battles and negotiations that took place between the South African government and the Namibian people backed by the Angolan and Cuban forces is marked as the starting point of southern African countries’ independence,” said Gerhardt Gurirab, the history curator of the Independence Memorial Museum.

According to him, “the battle of the Quito Cunavale paved the way for the liberation of southern African countries from the oppression of white domination”. The event also served as an awareness campaign to the youth and students with an interest in the history of the country, as it is a historic event that has not received the necessary attention, he said.

Naemi Nakapandi, a fourth-year student studying towards a bachelor of education degree at Unam, questioned Quito Cunavale’s absence in Namibian history books and stressed the importance of Namibian historians stepping out to tell our stories as a nation.

Furthermore, Namibia still shows great gratitude to Cuba who “has not once asked for compensation for their assistance during the Namibian struggle for freedom,” Gurirab said.