Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Col. Matias 'Mbulunganga' His Role In The Liberation Struggle

    Matias Ndakolo Mbulunganga got a military training at Tanganyika (Tanzania) 1960 and Algeria.
Matias Ndakolo Mbulunganga was born in Iilagati village in 1943 at Okathakambengwe in Ondonga, were he grew up until he joined the contract labour system of South West African Native Labour Association (SWANLA) known in a local language as ''Okaholo'' he worked as a farm laborer at the Grootfontein. After 18 months at the farm his first contract ended and later, he got another contract at the farm in Tsumeb, then he moved to Walvis Bay on yet another contract system. It was in Walvis Bay, where he came into contact with some of his fellow Namibians who taught him about politics and radicalism.
In Walvis Bay, I met some of our elders such as Kenyatta, Sam Nujoma and Mzee Kaukungwa who introduced us to politics. It did not take a long time for us to believe in their political ideologies, because we were suffering a lot under the Boers.
In 1959, he left Walvis Bay for Kavango in searching another contract labour job. He was lucky he received a contract to go and work at Livingston, but ended up in Johannesburg for a period of 4 years. He experienced hardship with the contract labour system, he quit and decided to join the MPLA movement in Angola. When he left Namibia (South West Africa) in 1960 he was quickly inducted in FAPLA a military out-fit of MPLA movement, he conscripted for military training in Tanganyika (Tanzania) after completion followed by another two years military training in Algeria,where he was introduced to the ideology of Marxist-Leninist Doctrine to fight the imperialism. During that time Mbulunganga serving MPLA he was a commander of B-detachment operating between Angola-Zambia and Congo borders.


He sustained some minor injuries by a shrapnel in a battle and he was also not feeling well after bitten by tse-tse flies in the jungles, he was transferred to Lusaka. While receiving medical treatment in Zambia, at the same place where Swapo also had education centres and military headquarter, so it was an opportunity presented itself for Mbulunganga to meet his countrymen like Elisa Haulyondjaba, Peter Eneas Nanyemba, (Ndilimani Lyomukunda Wamupolo), Solomon Hawala (Jesus), Ndaxu Namoloh ( Ho Chi Minh ) Epaphras (Denga Nokweendelela) Ndaitwah, James Awala (Manghuiya0, Hamutenya Nandenga (Zulu), Jonas Shiweda,Sacky Kapulwa Kapuleko,Thomas Shuuya (Mapaya), Eliaser P. Nempenda (Mambundu), Martin Shali, Martin Iifo,Niilo Taapopi (Kambwa Kashilongo),George Kaxuxuena (Chicken), Mwetufa Mupopiwa (Cobra), Veicco Nghiwete-Shoonyeka, Peter Nanyemba (Ndilimani Yomukunda Gwamupolo),Patrick Iyambo (Lunganda) and other compatriots of the liberation movement he met them after released from medical care at Mungu Hospital and he affectionately joined Swapo-military wing PLAN in 1969.



  Watch Matias Ndakolo interview with NBC explaining how they fought South African Boers.
In an interview conducted in 2009, he affirmed that his first military induction was with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola MPLA and first he fought alongside the Angolan forces fighting for the liberation of their motherland from the brutal regime of Marcelo Caetano before he joined Swapo. Indeed when he integrated as a Swapo member Mbulunganga became to be a prolific gallant fighter of the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighting the apartheid regime of South Africa at the northern-east front .

In the Swapo military wing he begun to conduct military operations around Katima Mulilo inside Namibia and sometimes crossing the Cuando River through Angola. Giving an account of some of the successful operations he was involved in, Mbulunganga himself noted that at one point there was a certain high-ranking Boers' commander who was in charge of the Caprivi region (Zambezi) he told South African president John (Johannes) Balthazar Vorster that he only needs a pistol and a dog to hunt down Swapo terrorists, but rued to learn that it was the worst military decision ever undertaking by attempt to root out the guerrillas from the place.
When that Boer and his group pursued us. We planted a landmine and we moved a few metres away, in a laid ambush. Only a short time passed, then we heard the noise of the landmine when it went off. We came back to see and we found the Boers including the one who said he will hunt us down with a pistol was gone.
Throughout many years as a commander in the liberation struggle, Mbulunganga has proven to be a fearless combatant and he was one of very few soldiers who could be felt so comfortable even while engaging the enemies he could sing and firing at enemy targets at the same time. “Since I started fighting I never encountered any difficulties. I loved fighting the Boers. During that time when you find me in the middle of the war I would be singing, because I hated the Boers. I always remember how they used to treat us bad when we were working in the mines,” Mbulunganga narrated.



Former President Pohamba, presents liberation status to PLAN Commander Matias Ndakolo.
Namibian Independence

In 1989 he returned back to Namibia with others after the country got its freedom from apartheid, however people like Mbulunganga have suffered another ostracism on the hands of fellow comrades who were together in the trenches in exile. On earlier on-set Namibian government failed to take a proper consideration about the plights of the war veterans and accord them with the status they deserved. Thanks to the government when later realized this, and leaped-in to institutionalized the services such as the creation of Ministry of Veterans Affairs and initiating the housing projects for war veterans, through the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, together with the National Housing Enterprise by building about 48 houses, of which one house was given to Mbulunganga , which was officially presented by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba to him and his wife Meekulu Aili at one of special ceremony held on 10 Februrary 2007. He left the son Philip Shikoka Ndakolo born in 1977 in ondjamba,Angola from his first wife Mekulu Akwenye Selina ''Katanga Kalula''. Phillip and other struggle kids especially the close sibling Wangushu Hambeleleni grew up in Nyango, zambia.


Death

Matias ‘Mbulunganga’ Ndakolo has died in the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital on Tuesday, between 01h00 and 02h00 due to prolong illness he succumbed over three-weeks. He was 75 years old. This was stated by his young sister, Rauna Ndakolo. According to his brother-in-arm Elisa Haulyondjaba, who is also a PLAN fighter and retired commander of Namibian Police Force in the Oshana region said Mbulunganga he has been ailing since his return from exile.

Conclusion

People like Mbulunganga and other PLAN Combatants such as Elisa Haulondjaba, Wilbard Tashiya Nakada, Brendan Kongongolo Simbwaye, J. Tambanelo and among many others fearless fighter that made those sacrifices, it was through their unshaken heroism and solidarity we got indipendence and thus it should hold and bind us together as one Namibian one Nations and this is the only journey we must continue.  So we too, let us overcome the tribalism, the rule of impunity, corruption and carry on with the torch of freedom and unity.



 
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