Educated at the Anglican Mission School for Africans at Windhoek and then sent to Johannesburg for a teacher’s training course.
School for Africans at Windhoek and then sent to Johannesburg for a teacher’s training course.
As a teacher dedicated to the interests of the profession as well as those of the pupils he was elected president of the South-West Africa Teachers Association in 1950 and held the post until 1953. His political influence was developed as a member of the Chief’s Council especially when he was interpreter for Chief Hosea Kutako. He helped to organise the first petition from Herero tribal leaders to the United Nations in 1947.
It was largely due to his campaigning that the Herero Private Fund was established in 1952 to pay for a special envoy to report on the plight of the people of South-West Africa to the UN. When the South African government refused a passport for the envoy the fund was used to meet the cost of Petitions to the UN and of transport for fhe Chief to visit his people.
At a time when there were fears of South African intervention over the aPpointment of a successor to the Chief Kutako. Herero headmen met on March 25, 1960, at Windhoek and declared Kapuuo to be Chief-designate. After Chief Kutako died he succeeded on July 25, 1970.
Following the favourable pronouncement of self-determination by the International Court of Justice, he issued a statement on June 30, 1971.
Welcoming it as endorsing “our long-held opinion that the inhabitants of South-West Africa and not the South African government will decide the future of South-West Africa. It also endorsed our opposition to separate development and its backyard extension the Odendaal Plan which «depriving the Hereros and other Africans of their traditional lands.”
He paid the penalty for his bold statement. Frequent police searches Were made at his home. Permits to travel were refused more often than previously. He was forbidden to visit leaders of other communities in the country.
When UN Secretary-General Dr Kurt Waldheim visited Windhoek on March 9, 1972, the Chief was given no advance notice of the chance of a meeting. Police roused him before dawn at Katutura compound and gave him five minutes to get aboard a truck for the airport 30 miles away. He had no time to telephone other African organisations until he reached the airport and then he was obliged to use a public telephone box.
When other African representatives arrived they were kept outside the airport building. Undaunted he spoke of all his anxieties about the treatment of his people during a three-hour meeting with the UN Secretary-General at the airport’s VIP lounge. He presented a petition for the UN to take over the administration of South-West Africa from the South African government and take immediate steps to secure selfdetermination for Namibia.
Dynamic campaigner for the freedom of his 50,000 people from South African rule as leader of the Herero National Unity Democratic Organisation. A trained teacher before turning businessman with a general store at Windhoek, he is the rallying point for his people’s aspirations despite all attempts to silence him. A man of great courage and one of the best informed persons in Windhoek despite being forbidden to have a telephone at his home in the Katutura African compound.