Chief Sofia laid to rest

CORRIDOR 17; The head of the Xoo Traditional Authority, Chief Sofia Jacob, was laid to rest at her home village of Corridor 17 on Saturday.

Chief Sofia, as she was more popularly known, died on 23 October 2014, after a long struggle with asthma. She was 48 years old.

Corridor 17, located some 220 kilometres south-east of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region, is the traditional seat of the Xoo traditional Authority and also the home village of the late Chief Sofia.

The late chief was instrumental in lobbying the government to bring various services to Corridor 17, such as a kindergarten and a school for the vast majority of San children who live here.

Family, friends and comrades who addressed the mourners at the funeral spoke highly of the late chief and her legacy.

Her last public appearance was at a Swapo Party rally which was addressed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba in Aminuis last month.

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Libertine Amathila, who was close to Chief Sofia, said the void left by the late chief will linger on for some time.

Amathila described Chief Sofia as someone who always placed her community first and relentlessly fought hard for the overall recognition of the San people as a tribe on its own.

Amathila also praised the late chief’s unwavering spirit in fighting for what she believed in.

“Chief Sofia reminded me of myself. We were both hardworking and never satisfied with little progress. When things had to be done, then they had to be done well and should be completed,” she said.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba, in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Local, Regional Government and Housing, General Charles Namholo, said Chief Sofia contributed a lot to the country’s overall development through her efforts with the San community.

Pohamba said under Chief Sofia’s administration, a lot of programmes were completed which were aimed at bringing much-needed development to her community.

Many people flocked from all corners of the country to pay homage to the fallen chief, with some saying her legacy would be a tough act to follow.

Amongst those that were present at the funeral were Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Killus Nguvauva; Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele and Swapo Party veteran leader and current advisor to the Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange.

Traditional cavalry troops accompanied the late chief’s casket to her final resting place.