Samson Tobias Ndeikwila has often been seen as a pacesetter – acting ahead of his contemporaries. He was one of six boys who left Ongwediva senior boys school in the mid-1960s into exile. In Tanzania he was part of a group of seven PLAN cadres who challenged the SWAPO leadership, calling for a party congress for Namibians in exile. His fifteen months detention in Tanzania opened his eyes to the real issues facing post-colonial Africa. It was in his prison cell that he took a decision to study theology and vowed to work for social justice for the rest of his life.
Ndeikwila received his theological training in Kenya during turbulent times in Central, East and the Horn of Africa. He studied with students from a wide range of church denominations in several countries in that part of Africa. With them he was engaged in many lively student discourses, seeking answers to the problems in several countries in that part of Africa. As Secretary of the Namibian Welfare Association in Kenya, he played a central role in drafting the famous Appeal for the Release of over 1,000 Namibians in Detention in Zambia and in Tanzania that contributed to the release of these Namibians.
Ndeikwila was instrumental in the founding of the Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO) as well as the Breaking the Wall of Silence (BWS). The latter is a pressure group which seeks closure to the issue of mass detentions, deaths and disappearances of hundreds of Namibians at the hands of fellow Namibians in exile. As director of the Forum for the Future Ndeikwila greatly helped with its transformation into a strong civil society organisation in Namibia.
For most of these initiatives, Ndeikwila had to suffer rejection, intimidation and being called names. However, as a practising Christian, he would prefer persecution for doing what is right, to praise for being hesitant, indecisive and submissive.
Ndeikwila believes that a nation’s history must be recorded as truthfully as humanly possible because a people ignorant of its own true history cannot build a coherent society. Such people can be manipulated easily to destroy itself. This book, therefore, seeks to introduce, for public discourse, some issues in Namibia’s liberation history that have either been distorted or placed under wraps over the years.
On June 10th 2021, Samson Tobias Ndeikwila died at the age of 77. He was buried on the 19th of June 2022 in Nakayale where he grew up. He is sadly mourned by thousands of Namibians, especially young people, who were always close to his heart.
Agony of Truth
extended and updated new edition
by Samson Ndeikwila
296 p. • 2019 • ISBN 978-99945-76-63-0 • 148 x 210 mm
Many books have been written about Namibia, yet few are truthful and frank accounts of the long and meandering walk towards independence. Without fear or favour, Samson Ndeikwila’s book narrates the journey of those who fought for Namibia’s liberation – of those in exile as well as of those often unsung men and women who fought for independence at home.
Ndeikwila is among the rare people left among us who have experienced or gained insight into what happened among Namibians in exile in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Angola and other countries. He thus has the bigger picture of developments between the early 1960s and the late 1980s. Based on his personal experiences and meticulously researched information on names, places and events, Ndeikwila’s book allows us to share in the dreams, agonies and hopes of hundreds of Namibians before and after 1990. Many dreams were shattered when paranoia took over in the high echelons of the liberation movement to the point that nobody was really safe anymore. But also, many dreams have remained vivid until today.
Namibians and Africans need to tell their stories while they are alive. They need to talk about their experiences as they remember them, so that others who were not privy to these experiences can get closer to the truth. By learning about the greatness of those who went before us, we learn to become better human beings, and by learning about their mistakes, we learn, as much as we can, not to repeat them.
Joseph Diescho, March 2014