In the words of poet Dylan Thomas, the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” written in 1947 by Dylan Thomas is a protest against death. Throughout six stanzas, the poet describes how people are never prepared to die, even if they are old, good or wild, experienced or not.
The first stanza read “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, because their words had forked no lightning they do not go gentle into that good night”
In summary, it says nothing can prepare humanity to accept the loss of someone close. Death so often it is said that, after time itself – it is the only certainty in life. Perhaps we are foolish to think other-wise – but it rather leaves you with the questions why.
The sudden passing of Desie Heita, good friend, fellow journalist and brother is a loss to the entire media fraternity, more so it is a loss to the Heita’s and the entire extended clan of Desie. In Desie, we have lost a truly remarkable fellow.
Often misunderstood, for his inward introvert like character, Desie’s character was a man of humbleness, but stern humility, peaceful but don’t anger him with ridiculousness, pure bred journalist professional of the rarest quality and an exceptional writer with the eye for analytics and figures.
Natangwe, became acquainted to me, as far as 2006, I was barely out of media school, and he was already a seasoned reporter with the only business paper in Namibia, The Economist then. During assignments and conferences, he would care less with statements – but would tenaciously scrutinize annual report and other high-level reports to find the story within the story.
Often he will say, the story is not the spoken one, the story is the one hiding in plain sight. All you need to do is read – suggesting that one shouldn’t merely speak to a source asking for documents, for they reveal no lies as grand as that of the mouth.
By fate and luck, our mentor and New Era Chief Editor Rajah Munamava, in early 2007 recruited me, Desie Heita and Toivo Ndjebela (current Manager Editorial Services at New Era ) to form a formidable team in the newsroom. I was assigned to Parliamentary Desk, Desie on the Economic Desk and Toivo on the Current and Political Desk. Our friendship blossomed and from young men we transformed into adults.
Whereas I left journalism in 2012, he pursued ahead, to which through his remarkable work ethics, New Era Publications Corporation, made him Associate Editor, responsible for the only national Oshiwambo publication Kundana, whilst still heavily engaged with his day to day task at the main paper.
I vividly recall, July 26, he rang me up and invited me for a social evening, unplanned simply spontaneous. To which I obliged, and coincidently as all things good, Toivo and Tonateni Shidhudhu joined us and we reinvigorate our spirits in a brotherly fashion, whilst mooning away in the death of the night the good early years of journalism to which we base our lives history on.
Until the sad morning of 04 October 2018, when I received the call from Mathias Haufiku, that Desie is no more. Painful is the death, the why is more painful then how. But life giveth, life blesses, but life removes in abundance, the one thing she gives freely – life itself.
Never are we prepared to accept the departure of a loved one, for it always tells us of our own inadequacies, that in life, we too shall one day embark on a journey of no return – to rest peacefully our weary bodies – and the everlasting –we all yearn for when our dues on this earth are settled.
To the family and the entire Heita clan we expressed our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved Desie. In persona, we as colleagues, will most missed his calmness and gentle humility which he shared with us all. Your loss is as much as our loss, your tears are ours too, and in the ensuing peace, please note that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this dark chapter that has befallen your family.
To you boet, I say what God has called, may no man question. Sail on Desie, fare thee well.
Fare thee well Desiewaar Natangwe Heita!