It’s said, that “every daughter’s hero is her father”. With my father, there are no truer words.
It’s said that a father is a daughter’s first love, and with my father these words most definitely ring true. Our father taught my sibling and I t the true value of hard work and the power of a smile, approaching life with the key phrase that reads, ‘shake it off and move forward’.
Despite the weight of a relying community; my father always has time to support his family. with the simplest encouraging words; “all will be ok, it will make you stronger”- even on days it felt impossible. And so, by his encouragements and daily affirmations we have come to learn that even if we have nothing, we still have enough to share.
With his fair share of trials, my father would happily give his last penny more than we would have liked. There was always someone who needed it more. He would tell my mother, “Ou-nooi God will provide”. Eventually, my mom gave up, as she knew a heart as big as his, is incurable.
The second oldest of five children, my dad -at the age of seventeen- followed in his father's footsteps, entering the railway industry for about 23 years. At 38 years of age - and being that he had dropped out of school at age seventeen - my dad finished his high school diploma, and this while providing for two children, a wife and working full time. I recall many nights of having to take my dad’s schoolbooks off his chest, as he fell asleep studying. After graduating, and at the time, living in South-Africa, he commenced with his studies – this time, to become a pastor.
We eventually moved back to our home country of Namibia, upon the completion of his studies - to Grootfontein of all places. With the walking example, that is my father, I soon learned that one is never too old to realize big dreams. Soon after arriving in Namibia, we moved to Okahandja - where my parents still reside today. They established an Okahandja Church and soup kitchens, still steadfast 24 years later.
In March of 2022, my parents celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. And I’ll never really know who came off luckier in this marriage. My mom or my dad? Their love-story started with a classic blind date, which soon blossomed into a romance. On a random day, my father walked straight up to my mom, uttering “are you ready, we’re getting married today?”. She didn’t even think twice, and they tied the knot.
I remember, how excited he was on the day that the Gondwana Care Trust decided to take his hand with the Church’s community outreach projects. This enabled them to provide food to more children than they could before. It really is his passion to give to the vulnerable – even on days he doesn’t have a lot to offer. A strong believer, that “if you do something, you do it right”
Author:Annie Theron and Marlene Orffer