Couple to Renew Vows After 60 Years

WHEN Gideon Hoebeb (84) and Constantia Katiti Tsuses (80) tied the knot 60 years ago, they never imagined their eldest son, Erongo police chief, Commissioner Samuel Hoebeb, would walk his mother down the aisle for a vow renewal ceremony.

Tsuses (now Hoebes) has decided to wear a specially designed, traditional Damara wedding dress on 5 July 2014 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia in Usakos, where she intends to say “I do” again. Family members are also organising two new wedding rings.

Speaking to The Namibian, Hoebes said that she and her husband were both students at the Augustineum Teachers’ College between 1949 and 1951 and this is where they first met.

However, it was only in 1954 when both were teachers at the Rynse Missionary School at Usakos’ old location, that they really started noticing each other. Hoebes was the first female Damara teacher in the old South West Africa and taught the sub-B’s, while Hoebeb was responsible for standard 1 to 5.

“We fell in love and started writing love letters to one another. The seminary principals were watching the teachers like hawks so we could not be naughty, so he asked me to marry him and I said yes,” Hoebes, who has taught the likes of minister of Safety and Security Immanuel Ngatjizeko and a variety of today’s chief executive officers, remembers.

She was cautious though because she came from a poor family and he was far better off. Wealth was measured by the amount of head of cattle a family had. She was afraid that maybe his family would not accept her.

On 4 July 1954, however, they tied the knot without any questions or concerns about capital status and have been together since, raising eight children, 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Hoebeb, although a trained teacher, eventually ended his teaching career to respond to a higher calling, and went to Paulineum Seminary for pastoral training at Otjimbingwe.

This was probably the most challenging time for the family and the marriage because, while he gave up his job, his wife and children had to stay behind at Usakos, where Hoebes continued teaching and did some artwork for extra money.

“It’s not easy working and having to take care of the children and the husband too, but God carried us through it all,” said Hoebes.

The hardship lasted for three years and then a new life started, when the family served the Lutheran church in Karibib, Gobabis, Swakopmund, Arandis and Usakos. It was a special time because they got to see different places and people, and stayed close to one another in a godly environment – which is, according to Hoebes, a fundamental reason why the marriage lasted.

“Besides all my talking that irritates him and him always wanting to preach and correct, which in turn irritates me, we have learned and grown to love each other unconditionally. It is the time we spent together serving God and the continual forgiveness of each other that has kept us together,” Hoebes said. Since 1995, when Hoebeb retired and received his pension, and with the children being out of the house, the couple enjoy a lot of time together. “This is my favourite time and we pray alot together,” she said.

In the week leading to the Hoebeb’s anniversary, there will be a lot of festivities. A re-enactment will take place where his family will go to her family and ask if she will marry him.

Then, two oxen will be slaughtered on two consecutive days.

“We will celebrate the whole week and there will be a lot of eating and drinking traditional beverages. We will also dance and celebrate this wonderful achievement of our parents,” said their oldest daughter, Gretchen.

Source : The Namibian