Heroes' Acre (Namibia)

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Heroes' Acre

The Heroes' Acre is an official war memorial of the Republic of Namibia. Built into the uninhabited hills c. 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the city centre of Windhoek, Heroes' Acre opened on 26 August 2002 and operates for the purpose of "foster(ing) a spirit of patriotism and nationalism, and to pass on the legacy to the future generations of Namibia".[1]

Location and description[edit]

The Heroes' Acre monument is situated south of Windhoek on the B1 national road to Rehoboth. It is built as a symmetric polygon with a marble obelisk and a bronze statue of the Unknown Soldier at its centre. The site contains parade grounds and a grandstand for 5000 people. The burial site consists of 174 tombs, not all of which are currently occupied.[2]

Honored heroes[edit]

At inauguration nine national heroes and heroines were identified. For each of them a tombstone with name and picture has been erected, although they are not buried here. The nine national heroes are:[3]

  1. Kahimemua Nguvauva (1850–1896), Chief of the Ovambanderu, was wounded May 1896 in the Battle of Sturmfeld and after his surrender executed by the Germans[4]
  2. Nehale Lya Mpingana (died 1908), King of Ondonga, defeated the settlers of the Dorsland Trek in 1886, and German colonial forces at Fort Namutoni in 1904[3]
  3. Samuel Maharero (1856–1923), Paramount Chief of the Herero people, led the uprisings against German colonialism that resulted in the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904–1907[3]
  4. Hendrik Witbooi (1830–1905), King of the Nama people and fighter against the colonial oppression of the German Empire in German South West Africa[5]
  5. Jacob Morenga (1875–1907), successor of Hendrik Witbooi as Nama Chief, used the fortress of ǁKhauxaǃnas to wage a guerrilla war against the Schutztruppe of Imperial Germany[6]
  6. Mandume Ya Ndemufayo (1894–1917), last king of the Kwanyama, led his people into battles with British, Portuguese, and South African colonial forces[7]
  7. Iipumbu Ya Tshilongo (1875–1959), King of the Uukwambi and strong nationalist, resisted European cultural influence exercised via the establishment of mission stations and administrative outposts[3]
  8. Anna Mungunda (1910s–1959), protester against the forced eviction from Windhoek's Old Location in 1959. Set the car of a high-ranking administrator alight and was shot dead in response.[8]
  9. Hosea Kutako (1870–1970), Paramount Chief of the Herero and petitioner to the United Nations for an independent Namibia[9]
John Pandeni's grave.

In later years, several additional people have been declared national heroes, and buried here. These are:

There are further National Heroes of Namibia without any connection to Heroe's Acre, namely:[21]

Seven veterans of the Namibian liberation struggle reburied (2014)[22][23]

  • Peter Nanyemba
  • Walde Homateni Timoteus Kaluenya
  • Isak "Pondo" Shikongo
  • Natalia Ndahambelela Shikangala Mavulu
  • Augustus "McNamara" Nghaamwa
  • Putuse Appolus
  • Lineekela Kalenga

Construction controversy[edit]

Mansudae Overseas Projects, a company from North Korea, was given a N$60 million contract from Namibia to build the 732-acre (2.96 km2) monument. The contract was awarded without any competitive tendering process, and eventually the construction cost doubled.[2] The non-transparent contracting of foreign manual labour has been criticised by corruption watchdog insight Namibia.[24]

The memorial has been described as "monstrous" and its erection was speculated to "reveal a lack of African self-confidence". The statue of the Unknown Soldier resembles the physical features of Sam Nujoma,[2] Namibia's founding president and ultimately the initiator of its erection.[1]

In May 2005, a report in The Namibian noted that Heroes Acre was "already showing signs of decay". In particular, a bronze statue of a soldier had suffered damage, as had the plinth on which it stood. Some of the gold-coloured letters forming an inscription on the plinth were broken or missing, and the letters were "made of a cement-like substance, which had been painted gold and then glued to the plinth".[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Windhoek City Council: What to see, National Monuments in Windhoek
  2. ^ a b c "Heroes' Acre Monument Namibia". Namibia-travel.net. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Nujoma, Sam (26 August 2002). "Heroes' Acre Namibia Opening Ceremony - inaugural speech". via namibia-1on1.com. 
  4. ^ Mashuna, Timotheus (30 March 2012). "Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva: The Prophetic anti-Imperialist Chief of the Ovambaderu (1850 -1896)". New Era. 
  5. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, W". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chapter 2: The Rediscovery of ǁKhauxaǃnas". ǁKhauxaǃnas. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Order out of Chaos: Mandume Ya Ndemufayo and Oral History by Patrica Hayes in the Journal of Southern African Studies, 19.1, March 1993]
  8. ^ Angula, Nahas (10 December 2010). "Old location massacre: the spark that ignited the struggle for national independence". Speeches of the Prime Minister. Government of Namibia. 
  9. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, K". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, H". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, M". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Markus Kooper: Death of a Hero New Era via allafrica.com, 19 December 2005
  13. ^ "The Decade of the 1970s". The Center for International Education. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  14. ^ Christof Maletzky: Richard Kabajani passes away The Namibian, 21 May 2007
  15. ^ Ekongo, John (20 March 2008). "Namibia: Pandeni Was a Born Leader - Iilonga". New Era. via allafrica.com. 
  16. ^ Sasman, Catherine (29 October 2010). "Peter Tsheehama: The fighter (1941 to 2010)". New Era. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Nankudhu to be buried at Heroes' Acre". New Era. 29 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Haufiku, Mathias (9 November 2013). "Matongo was ‘dedicated, well disciplined and fearless’". New Era. 
  19. ^ Haufiku, Mathias (22 April 2014). "National hero Intamba to rest". New Era. 
  20. ^ Kahiurika, Ndanki (26 February 2015). "Veii laid to rest". The Namibian. p. 5. 
  21. ^ "Namibian Constitution Second Amendment Act 7 of 2010" (PDF). Legal Assistance Centre. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  22. ^ Remains of heroes to be repatriated
  23. ^ Remains of gallant fighters laid to rest at the Shrine of the Heroes' Acres
  24. ^ "The hidden world of public contracting" (pdf). insight Namibia. March 2008. 
  25. ^ Menges, Werner (6 May 2005). "Heroes' monument losing battle". The Namibian. 

Coordinates: 22°39′50″S 17°04′42″E / 22.6638°S 17.0783°E / -22.6638; 17.0783