#AfricanHistory // Biography of #AndimbaYaToivo

Biography of Andimba Ya Toivo – Toivo, although a member of the Anglican Church, stayed in constant, close contact with Leonard Auala from the Evangelical Lutheran Ovambo-Kavango Church (ELOC). Because of OPO’s (later SWAPO’s) deep roots in the Ovambo people, ELOC subsequently gave its support to this national liberation movement. Members and supporters of SWAPO were also members of the congregation. The people, church and national liberation movement coincided. The OPO’s reconstitution as SWAPO in 1960 was triggered by national leaders such as Sam Nujoma, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Mburumba Kerina, Jacob Kuhangua, Solomon Mifima, Paul Helmuth, Andreas Shipanga, Erasmus Erastus Mbumba, Emil Appolus, Maxton Joseph Mutongulume and Carlos Hamatui. South Africa immediately labelled SWAPO a “communist” organisation, but in terms of its policy objectives and conduct, SWAPO could in truth only be labelled a “nationalist movement”.

With the beginning of SWAPO’s armed struggle against the South African administration in March 1965, the first group of the SWA Liberation Army (SWALA) under the command of Peter Nanyemba, Tobias Hainjeko and John Otto Nankudhu left the Kongwa military training camp in Tanzania and moved to Nakonde in Zambia. From there they moved via Lusaka to Sesheke at the border to the Caprivi Strip. From Katima Mulilo they moved into Namibia and split up into several sub-groups. The sub-group headed by Patrick Iyambo (Lungada) moved to the homestead of Eliazer Tuhadeleni (Kaxumba kaNdola) at Endola in the Uukwanyama area where it later met the second sub-group. Tuhadeleni briefed SWAPO leaders including Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Joseph Matheus, Ben Amathila, Erastus Mbumba, Lot Homateni, Lamek Iithete and others. After their consultations with the SWAPO leadership, the group split up again for political mobilisation.

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