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.
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.
Welcome to Heroes' Acre
The Entrance Gate to Namibia's Heroes' Acre
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
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.
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.
The Bronze Mural
The Bronze Mural:
Viewed from left to right depicts the struggle of the
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.
The resting places
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.
Articles of Associated Interest:
This page was produced with the kind
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