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HEROES' ACRE WINDHOEK NAMIBIA (part 1) Namibia's National Monument to honour the Heroes and Heroines of Namibia

 

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Heroes Acre Windhoek Namibia (part 1)

Namibia's National Monument to honour the Heroes and Heroines of Namibia

 

 

Whether you are a citizen of beautiful Namibia who has not yet been to the Heroes' Acre or a tourist, a visit to the site that lays in the Auas Mountains about 10km south of Windhoek will prove to be a memorable experience for you. You would do well to prepare yourself and take some time to read the pages linked to this, where you will gain a better understanding of Namibia, its people, its past and the long and difficult struggle that was fought for our National Independence.

The entrance gates are flanked by two kneeling women holding bouquets of flowers as a symbolic offering to you, in the Namibian tradition of welcoming special guests.

 

The construction of Heroes' Acre was motivated by the need to foster the spirit of patriotism and nationalism and to pass this legacy on to the future generations of Namibia. It is the place where our National Heroes and Heroines are honoured and remembered. It is sanctified ground and visitors are requested to be respectful of this.

 

Namibia Heroes Acre entrance statue of woman offering flowers

Welcome to Heroes' Acre

Namibia Heroes Acre entrance gate

The Entrance Gate to Namibia's Heroes' Acre

Namibia Heroes Acre The memorial site

The Memorial

   
Namibia Heroes Acre Obelisk

The Obelisk:

Being 34 metres in height is the focal point of the monument. Viewed from the Parade Ground the Obelisk with the rear Copper Mural takes on the appearance of a sword which is representative of the bravery, strength and tenacity of those who took part in Namibia's protracted and often bloody liberation struggle.

   
Namibia Heroes Acre The Unknown Warrior

Namibia's Unknown Soldier

Heroes' Acre - The Unknown Soldier:  The imposing statue is representative of all the Namibians who died in the struggle for independence from colonial rule. The warrior stands 8 metres high, is cast in bronze and weighs 4 tons. In his left hand he is carrying a Kalashnikov model 47 assault rifle. During the later years of the struggle, the easy availability of this inexpensive, but reliable and effective weapon became the standard weapon of (PLAN) the People's Liberation Army of Namibia. In his right hand he is brandishing an anti-tank grenade.

 

Namibia Heroes Acre message from Sam Nujoma Founding President of Namibia

The wording underneath him and on the front face of the pedestal are a cast replica of the Founding Father of the Nation, President Sam Nujoma's own hand-writing writing and states, " Glory to the  fallen Heroes and Heroines of the motherland Namibia! Sam Nujoma 26th August 2002" being the date of the inauguration of the Heroes' Acre Monument.

 

 

The Pedestal: Serves as a symbolic resting place for all of the sons and daughters of Namibia who gave their lives during the years of the liberation struggle. Beneath it have been placed soil samples taken from the mass graves of the Freedom Fighters who were killed by South African forces at Cassinga - Angola, Ongulumbashe - Namibia, and Oshatotwa - Zambia.

 

Namibia Heroes Acre Mural section 1

Namibia Heroes Acre Mural section 2

Namibia Heroes Acre Mural section 3

Namibia Heroes Acre Mural section 4

The Bronze Mural

The Bronze Mural:

Viewed from left to right depicts the struggle of the indigenous Namibian people for independence. The suffering and oppression under Imperial Germany's colonial rule (1884 to 1915) during which time the Herero Nation was pushed to the edge of extinction in the 1904-1907 uprising. The scene then moves to the early 1960s when Namibians began their petitioning the United Nations for Independence from the South African Occupation of the country that had begun to impose its' Apartheid policies upon the Namibian peoples. However, by 1966 it was becoming apparent to the Namibian delegation that the South African Government's policy of intransigency at the United Nations was designed to frustrate, long term, any and all peaceful attempts for Namibia's independence.

 

The 26th of August is the Namibian Public Holiday known as Heroes' Day. It is held in commemoration of the beginning of the armed struggle by the fighting forces of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) who, on this day, in 1966 attacked a contingent of South Africa forces at Ongulumbashe in the northern Omusati Region of Namibia. Thus making the declaration that a state of war existed between the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and the South African Colonial Apartheid regime. The fate of Namibia would be sealed in blood for the better part of the next 30 years.

 

One should ponder for a moment and consider the long years of exile, away from family, friends and loved ones; the heartaches, bravery, courage, self sacrifice and tenacity that was required of Namibia's Freedom Fighters, many of whom were women. Their victory was finally realised and they could proudly, and with no doubt deep emotions, sing the words, "Freedom Fight We Have Won" on 21 March 1990, when, for the last time the flag of occupation, that of South Africa, was lowered and Namibians were, for the first time, to have their own National Flag raised and flutter proudly over them. On this section of the mural the Unknown Soldier leads the victorious fighters into a free and Independent Namibia. The mother and child at the rear are praising them for their bravery and sacrifices.

 

Namibia Heroes Acre reprentative graves of fallen heroes

The resting places

 

Namibia Heroes Acre The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame

The Graves: Provision has been made for 170 resting places of which presently there are nine symbolic graves, being those of: Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, Captein Jacob Marenga, Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva, Chief Samuel Maharero, Chief Nehale Iya Mpingana, Chief Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Chief Ipumbu ya Tshilongo, Chief Hosea Kutako, Mama Kakarakuze Mungunda.

 

There are presently four actual resting places being those of:

1/. Lt.General (Retired) Jerobeam Dimo Hamaambo - 27.10.1932 to 08.09.2002 [Get award notation for Hamaambo]

2/. Kadanga - Hilukilwa Gertrud 'Rikumbu' 01.01.1937 to 20.12.2002 (Fearless freedom fighter)

3/. Comrade David Hosea Merero 01.01.1917 to 18.01.2004 (Hero of the liberation)

4/. Comrade Maxton Joseph Mutongolume 29.11.1932 to 07.04.2004 (Hero of the liberation

 

The Eternal Flame represents the undying spirit of freedom and recognition of the ultimate sacrifice that all of the fallen sons and daughters made for Namibia. Should you be moved to say a prayer or place a wreath or some other small item in memory and respect for them -  this is the appropriate place to do so.

 

The Heroes' Acre is a National Heritage Site. Tours of the memorial site are with guides who are fully conversant with the subject matter. I encourage any person, Namibian or tourist who has not yet visited the site to do so.

 

National Heritage Council Entry Fees

Articles of Associated Interest:

 


This page was produced with the kind cooperation of:

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Namibia National Heritage Council.

This page is downloadable in PDF format.

Photographs: Keith Irwin


Of Interest:  Namibia was under continued colonial occupation and rule since 7 August 1884 to 21 March 1990. That is 105 years 226 days. The final struggle for independence took over 43 years, during which, a period of  23 years 225 days was armed conflict

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