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"This honour is for the nation" Dr Nujoma

Allow me to express my profound appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Namibia under the revolutionary (Presidential adlibbing) stewardship of His Excellency, Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba, to the Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Comrade Iipumbu Shiimi, and to the People of Namibia for the honour bestowed upon me by featuring my portrait on the upgraded N$10 (Ten Namibian Dollars) and N$20 (Twenty Namibian Dollars) banknotes. I feel deeply humbled and grateful for this gesture.

I wish to thank His Excellency, Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba and his Cabinet, the Governor of the Bank of Namibia and indeed, the entire Namibian Nation and all those who played an active role for me to be awarded this prestigious and outstanding honour. In accepting this honour, I am mindful of the long and arduous journey our people have travelled and charted a course expanded by blood of generations to build our nation.

For this reason, I accept this honour on behalf of my comrades- in-arms in the SWAPO Party with whom I shared the trenches and crossed many rivers of blood and the thick jungles in search of our Freedom and Genuine Independence.

I also accept this honour on behalf of the Namibian people for allowing me not only to lead them during our difficult moments of the protracted armed liberation struggle but also for the honour they bestowed upon me to be the First President of this beautiful country of vast contrasts and its diverse and vibrant people.

'Self-definition' is a self-empowerment mechanism that goes a long way in forging a common identity. There is a reason why very few landmarks and structures in Europe and America are named after African heroes and heroines such as Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Patrice Lumumba or Samora Machel. These are our heroes and we should honour them because no one is ever going to do it for us.

In giving names to people and things, we assert who we are and in honouring its citizens, a country honours itself. Nevertheless, I am mindful of what our friend indeed and fellow revolutionary, El Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz once said "What transforms a president into a historical personage, who has been able to reach that position because of his merits, does not lie in the person, but in the need for him at a determinate moment in the history of his nation". Against this background, I wish to state that the honor conferred to me, is a well deserved tribute to our collective nation building efforts.

Similarly, the honour bestowed upon me belongs to the entire Namibian nation in recognition of our people's struggle and sacrifices for freedom and human dignity for which many sacrificed their precious lives.

I therefore wish to dedicate this honour and recognition to our forebears who passed on the torch of freedom for us to carry on the struggle for Independence. In the same vein, I dedicate this honour and recognition to the ongoing efforts of the Namibian people and those of our government in propelling our nation forward towards the realization of our development goals.

In addition, I wish to dedicate this honour to the current generation to serve as an inspiration and encouragement in order for them to study hard and take up the mantle as future leaders of our country, following in the footsteps of our forebears and standing proud on their shoulders, looking toward the future with confidence and hope.

Indeed, each time a new generation has risen to take up the mantle, and today we call upon the current generation to be the one that will end poverty, hunger and diseases, a generation that will carry on the second phase of the struggle for economic independence, and most of all, a generation that will never forget where we came from, where we are now and where we are going as a nation. I have confidence that the current generation will live up to the expectations and meet the challenges facing our country with vigour and determination.

Last but not least, allow me to reiterate my call for us to remain united because as I always say: A united people, striving to achieve a common good for all members of the society, will always emerge victorious. If we hold fast to that truth there is no obstacle too insurmountable and no challenge too great, as long as we are united in common action and purpose. With these few words, I accept with humility and gratitude the honour bestowed upon me.


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura