Geingos pays touching tribute to her late husband

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

In a sombre memorial held at Independence Stadium, former First Lady, Monica Geingos delivered a poignant tribute to her late husband, former President Hage Geingob, encapsulating the profound impact of his life and the unexpected turn of events leading to his death.

“His passing was traumatising and unexpected. He was eager to retire and had such plans. And true to his words, he didn’t overstay. In the last few months, he spoke often about ensuring a smooth transition. And even though he left too early, the transition was smooth; it just wasn’t the one he expected,” she remarked.

In her tribute, Geingos captured the essence of a leader who was born under a tree at a cattle post in Grootfontein but recognised and loved by the world.

“A boy who was born under a tree at a cattle post in Grootfontein is being recognised and loved by the world. Hage loved, and he was loved. The outpouring of grief since his passing is a testament to how deeply he was loved,” expressed Geingos.

In addition, the former first lady disclosed the unexpected news of Hage’s cancer diagnosis in January 2024, detailing the couple’s journey in facing this reality.

“Hage and I were informed by doctors on 16 January 2024 that he had cancer, after a biopsy. We went to our first oncologist visit on 17 January to devise a treatment plan. On 18 January he insisted on releasing a press statement notifying the public that he had cancer. He did not know how long he had to live,” Geingos said.

Geingob, died earlier this month at a hospital in Windhoek and he was buried last week at Heroes Acre after three weeks of mourning.

His funeral was attended by almost 20 former African heads of state. Including founding Namibian President Sam Nujoma and his successor Hifikepunye Pohamba.

She further highlighted Geingob’s unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life, describing him as an internationalist, a Pan-African, a proud Namibian and a family man.

His sincerity, she noted, united people in grief across oceans, throughout the continent, and every corner of Namibia.

“In mourning, Hage Namibia became everything he wanted us to be. United, law-abiding, and pulling in the same direction. In his death, Hage truly became alive,” said.

In addition, Geingos shared insights into Geingob’s dedication to building an inclusive, united Namibia.

She said Geingob envisioned a country where diverse cultures integrated seamlessly, free from the tribalism he sought to eliminate. This commitment she said extended to his blended family, where he, alongside Geingos, guided and united children from various backgrounds.

“Hage was our north star. When we looked at him, we knew in which direction to go,” she said.

Reflecting on the impact of Geingob’s passing, Geingos shared the sentiments of those who felt a profound loss, describing him as their anchor, protector, defender and mentor.

Moreover, she said the transition honoured Geingob’s legacy but also became a testament to the resilience and maturity of Namibia’s political landscape in the face of unexpected transitions.

“The country swore in a new president the day he passed, and there were no power struggles. If there was a display of political maturity, it was in that moment, and long may it continue,” Geingos noted, acknowledging the smooth transition of power after Hage’s passing.

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