State funeral for Namibia’s national anthem composer

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Axali Doëseb, the composer of Namibia’s national anthem, will be conferred a state funeral – a tribute his family believes would have made him proud.

President Hage Geingob on Saturday said Doëseb would receive this recognition for his remarkable contribution to Namibia.

The renowned composer passed away at the age of 68 in Windhoek on 27 October.

“His exceptional work in composing the national anthem shines bright, and shall therefore not be forgotten,” Geingob said.

The president said by composing ‘Namibia, Land of the Brave’ Doëseb helped shape the nation’s identity.

Geingob conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family of the composer, including his wife, Amalia Doëses, children, and other relatives.

Baby Doëseb, the younger brother of the accomplished music composer, has expressed the family’s deep appreciation of the government’s acknowledgment and recognition of their beloved family member.

“It means a lot to the family that a good deed has been recognised as such,” Baby said.

He said his brother would have appreciated the recognition.

“I think Axali would’ve been happy with being a recipient of such an honour. More so if he had known it would come,” Baby said.

Doëseb died at Lady Pohamba Private Hospital due to unexpected health issues, as confirmed by his family.

In a prior interview with The Namibian, his wife, Amalia Doëses, said her husband had developed a sudden cough, leading to his initial admission to a private hospital before being transferred to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital.

“It became a real struggle to stabilise his blood levels, and it so happened that he got a stroke while the medical staff fought for his life. They transferred him to Lady Pohamba, where the doctors also said that it was a high risk to operate on him,” Doëses said.

Doëseb’s composition was one of two chosen among numerous entries in a competition organised by the information ministry in 1991.

The talented musician, originally from Okahandja, inherited his deep musical knowledge from his late father, Casper Doëseb, an elder at the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Okahandja, who was skilled in playing the violin.

Furthermore, Doëseb holds the distinction of being Namibia’s first post-independence black conductor of the Namibian National Symphony Orchestra.

In recognition of his remarkable career, he received a lifetime achievement award at the 2014 Namibia Annual Music Awards.

Doëseb’s funeral will take place in Windhoek this week.


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