WINDHOEK: Dr. Sam Nujoma, the Founding President of Namibia, on Friday commemorated the significant contributions of the late Axali Doeseb, the composer of Namibia’s National Anthem, ‘Namibia, Land of the Brave’. Nujoma emphasized Doeseb’s vital role in shaping the nation’s artistic heritage at a memorial service held at Parliament Gardens in Windhoek.
According to Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA), who passed away on 27 October 2023 at the age of 69, has left behind a rich legacy through his composition of the national anthem. This anthem, adopted in December 1991 and succeeding ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,’ has become a symbol of national pride, unity, and reconciliation. It is recognized as one of the country’s national symbols.
Nujoma described Doeseb as a musical genius, who was selected to compose the anthem after winning a contest organized by the sub-committee on national symbols. This committee was also responsible for creating Namibia’s flag and coat of arms. The national anthem, with its evocative lyrics and melody, reflects the country’s diversity and symbolizes the new era of unity and reconciliation, celebrating the freedom fight and the bravery of those who sacrificed for the nation’s liberty.
The Founding President further reflected on Doeseb’s lasting impact on the music industry and his promotion of cultural pride and indigenous music. Nujoma highlighted the role of artists as historians and anthropologists, emphasizing that music transcends entertainment to inspire action and imbue a sense of purpose.
Nujoma stressed the importance of artists in bringing together people across political divides, fostering social cohesion, and uplifting spirits even in challenging times. He called for the nation to honor its artists, recognizing them as the voice of the people and the conscience of the nation.