Liberation Icon Ya Toivo to Be Honoured With Bowls Fun Day for 90th Birthday

With the entire nation already in a celebratory mood ahead of one of Namibia’s father of the liberation struggle, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo’s 90th birthday on 22 August, a fundraising Bowling Fun Day, among other events, will also be held at the Windhoek Country Club in honour of the human rights icon.

The bowls fun day is dedicated to Ya Toivo as a token of appreciation for all the personal sacrifices he made as a torchbearer of the struggle for Namibian independence and his activism in the fight for human rights.

Participation fee is N$10,000 per team of five members. Besides the sport events, various participants will get a chance to mingle freely and chat with the legendary Ya Toivo in a more relaxed atmosphere. All participation frees and other donated money will go to the Ya Toivo Foundation. The main birthday celebration is scheduled for the Windhoek Independence Stadium on 12 September.

Ya Toivo was born 22 August 1924 in the Omangundu village in the Oshana Region. He is a founding member of the Ovamboland People’s Congress (OPC) in 1957, at the beginning of the independence movement and also fought for the Allied Forces during World War II.

Later, because of his political activities in support of Namibian independence, he was arrested in 1966 by the South African authorities and 1968 he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment at the historic Robben Island Prison, near Cape Town. Ya Toivo was released on 1 March 1984.

From 1984 to 1991, he was the Secretary General of the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). Ya Toivo was a SWAPO member of the Constituent Assembly, which was in place from November 1989 to March 1990, immediately prior to independence and upon independence in March 1990, he became a member of the National Assembly.

He was also Minister of Mines and Energy from 1990 until his appointment as Minister of Labour in 1999. After over three years in that position, he was appointed as Minister of Prisons in 2002, switching posts with Marco Hausiku. He remained Minister of Prisons until 2006.

Source : New Era