For Namibia, August 26 is an important day. The marking of August 26 extends back to 1923, the year when the body of Samuel Maherero, the paramount Chief of the Herero, was returned to the country for burial. Maherero had fled to Bechuanaland in conjunction with the uprising of Otjiherero speaking groups against the German colonial government in 1904. Since Maherero’s return, people have joined annually in the town of Okahandja, the burial site of the Herero paramount chiefs, to celebrate Herero tradition and resistance to colonialism. Forty-three years later, on August 26, 1966, the first skirmish took place between guerrillas belonging to the Namibian liberation movement SWAPO and South African Police at Omgulumbashe in northern Namibia. Thereafter, SWAPO members in exile began to commemorate August 26 annually as “Namibia Day.” Since independence in 1990, the SWAPO led Namibian government has continued
to mark August 26th as a national holiday called “Heroes’ Day.”
These great heroes of Namibia sacrificed their lives in the name of the Namibian nation, independence and to pay homage to these great soldiers of Namibia sometimes referred to as “Plan-Fighters”. This day is declared as a national holiday in Namibia and celebrated with enormous respect and devotion by the Namibians. In respect to these brave soldiers, monuments at Heroes Acre have also been built to symbolizes the patriotic contribution of these great soldiers towards their motherland. since the return of Samuel Maherero from exile for burial 1923, the heroes have marked this day as a gesture of defiance.
+ Google Map for where to find Namibia’s Heroes Acre
Image from Past Heroes’ Day celebrations by Research Gate.