Hage Geingob bigraphy, stories - Namibian Prime Minister

Hage Geingob : biography

August 3, 1941 -

Early life

Geingob was born in the Grootfontein District of Namibia. He received his early education at Otavi in Namibia under the Bantu Education System. He joined the Augustineum in 1958 where most of today’s prominent political leaders of Namibia were educated. In 1960, he was expelled from Augustineum for having participated in a march to protest the poor quality of education. He was, however, re-admitted and was able to finish the teacher-training course in 1961. Subsequently, he took up a teaching position at the Tsumeb Primary School in Central Namibia but soon discovered that his thirst for knowledge was unlikely to be quenched in Namibia. As teacher, he also hated being an unwilling instrument in perpetuating the Bantu Education System.

Therefore, at the end of the school year, he left his job to seek knowledge and instruction that could help him change the system. He, with three of his colleagues, walked and hitch-hiked to Botswana to escape the system. From Botswana, he was scheduled to go to Dar es Salaam on a plane chartered by African National Congress (ANC). However, this plane was blown up by the South Africans when it was still on ground because the time bomb went off prematuarely. Subsequently, the apartheid regime also tightened up the "underground railway." As a result, Hage Geingob, stayed on in Botswana where he was appointed Assistant South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) Representative in Botswana (1963–64).

University years

In 1964, Hage Geingob left for the United States to study at Temple University where he was granted a scholarship. Subsequently, he obtained a BA degree from Fordham University, New York in 1970 and an MA degree in International Relations from the Graduate Faculty of The New School, New York in 1974.

In 1964, he was appointed SWAPO Representative at the United Nations and to the Americas. He served in this position until 1971. Those years for him were the years of crusade—crusade for freedom and independence. He travelled extensively, criss-crossing the United States, talking with people, addressing gatherings. He and his colleagues were not always successful, but they did find some converts who helped them keep the Namibian issue alive at the United Nations until the United Nations General Assembly's recognition of SWAPO as the sole and authentic representative of the people of Namibia. Namibians' struggle at the international fora, and their armed struggle launched in 1966 eventually led to the independence of Namibia in 1990.

Career as politician and educationist

In 1972, Hage Geingob was appointed to the United Nations Secretariat as Political Affairs Officer, a position he held until 1975 when he was appointed Director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia. He, with his team, was responsible for starting this training and research Institute whose primary function was to train cadres who could take over the civil service of Namibia on independence. An important component of the Institute was also to carry out sectoral research to develop policy framework for the government of independent Namibia. Over the years, the Institute grew in stature and institutional relations were established with various institutions of higher learning in Europe, e.g., University of Warwick, University of East Anglia, and University of Sussex. These and other institutions recognized the Institute's diploma and readily admitted its graduates for further studies.

Hage Geingob held the position of the Director of the Institute until 1989. At the same time, he continued to be a member of both the Central Committee and the Politburo of SWAPO.

In 1989, he was elected by the Politburo of SWAPO to spearhead SWAPO's election campaign in Namibia. To carry out this assignment, he returned to Namibia with many of his colleagues on 18 June 1989, after 27 years' absence from the country. As SWAPO's Director of Elections, Hage Geingob along with other members of his directorate established SWAPO election centres throughout the country and spearheaded an election campaign which brought SWAPO to power in Namibia.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine