2022 Denys Nandi dies


BORN 26th August 1939

DIED: 24th September 2022

Teacher, Principal, Director of Education, father, grandfather, DEACON and CHURCH SECRETARY


Bishop Lukas Kaluwapa Katenda,


On Saturday, 24th September, news came from Rhino Park Hospital, that Deacon Denys K. Nandi has transitioned to the eternal realm.

Rev Denys Nandi was born at Onamutai to the Anglican missionary personality, Reverend Deacon Petrus Mashalale Nghandi (Nandi)-{Shindabi shomwenyo kau haluka wa fa u li moshifidi} and Meekulu Nekoto Justina yaTshavuka (Shaduka) tshaTshirongo (Shilongo). Meekulu Nekoto’s mother is Kuku/Meekulu Nakandunga Josephina yaNuuyoma waAsino (Nauyoma waHafino). For interest and history sake, Tatekulu Tshavuka (Shaduka) was a half-brother of Omukwaniilwa Ipumbu yaTshirongo while Tatekulu Nuuyoma waAsino (Nauyoma waHafino), was a brother to Meekukulu Noowa lyAsino (known as Mukwahepo waHafino) mother of Shaduka shaShilongo (mentioned above) and the legendary Shikesho shaAlweendo (Nandjebo Mengela), senior headman of Efululula District, also known as “Oshilongo shaMengela-Ongudu yaFululula.” Onamutai is part of this arrangement.

Tate Denys leaves behind a rich legacy, not only as a husband to his late wife Meme Padelia Itaveleni yaGabriel Hiyalwa Namueja (also an Anglican pioneer missionary- Priest) and a father to his children but also a very unique person in his own right and a national leader especially in the education sector.

Tate Denys started his elementary education at St Cuthbert’s Primary School at Onamutai, which was started by his father, and the he continued at St Mary’s Senior Primary and High School (an Anglican Church School) at Odibo, at which he became a teacher and principal after completing his Junior certificate and matric. He continued his education at famous Augustineum Teachers College at Okahandja. Among other students of his time at Augustinism from Odibo, were Tk Jesaya Shippiki, Michael Tuyapeni, and there they met people like Tk Ben Amathila, Dr. Hage Geingob inter-alia.

He became the first Anglican student to complete Matriculation and went on as sponsored by the Anglican church to study towards Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.) at the University of Turfloop (today University of Limpopo) in South Africa. Then Tate Denys became the second Omuwambo to obtain a Degree in Education coming only after none other than the legendary and author of books Tatekulu Hans Daniel Namuhuja. On returning from South Africa, Tate Denys played an important role in establishing some secondary schools such Ponhofi Senior Secondary School in Ohangwena, Region, Ongha Secondary School also in Ohangwena Region as well as Oluno (now Andimba Toivo ya Toivo) Secondary school in Oshana Region inter alia.

Tate Denys Nandi with other educationists of their time such as Tate Daniel Namuhuja were key leaders in promotion of education culture in Ovamboland alongside other education leaders in other homelands within the territory as it was then organized before independence. This role they played before independence and after the attainment of independence as per the newly adopted Constitution of the newly constituted Republic of Namibia. Together with them, there was a legion of Education Inspectors, Principals and teachers. Through them, and through difficult times, they persevered to inspire and enforce the culture of education in Ovamboland, and kudos to them some of their products are today leaders in church and Government. Among those school inspectors, we can remember, are Reverend Hosea Namupala, Tk Abednego Lesheni Nghifikwa, Tk Moses Hamutumwa, Tk Toivo Ndevaetela, Tk Gervasius Tshiguwo, Tk Engelbrecht Atshipara, Tk Gerson Shipwata, Tk Olavi Hamunghete, Tk Eneas Hamutenya, Tk Andreas Amushila and authors of oshiwambo books such as Tk Petrus Amakali, and Tk Paavo Hasheela among others.

On religious fronts, Tate Denys became involved in the establishment of Church of England in Namibia (renamed Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of Namibia-REACH-NA), which started as a result of the ordeals of 1969 within the Anglican Diocese of Namibia. This branch received Anglican Episcopal oversight from Church of England in South Africa renamed (Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa-REACH-SA), a separate Reformed and Evangelical branch of Anglicanism in South Africa since 1870. In this project he served along Elifas Kanime, George Hikumwah (later joined Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa), Vilho Weyulu Jr., Ben Paulus, Albino Adriano, and Jeremia Wilhelm, under the leadership of senior Presbyter (Vicar General) Peter Tanyengenge Kalangula, who eventually became a bishop in the year 2000 and Tate Denys was made a Deacon in that very same occasion presided by Bishop Dudley Ford (formerly Presiding Bishop of REACH-SA) who was originally from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney in the Church of England in Australia (now called Anglican Church of Australia). Peter T. Kalangula in years preceding to the total independence of Namibia, was the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Ovamboland Administration, after serving as Minister of Works and well as of Education, in the same arrangement.

Tate Denys then has served as first Secretary and Interpreter of the Church; the work he has done diligently for about 40 years till his retreat in 2017 when the young man Lasarus Hakwaake was elected new secretary. He has been a delegate to Annual General Synods of REACH-SA representing REACH-Namibia. He has also translated some materials into Oshikwanyama for usage in the church, these materials included “Eitavelo” and “Catechism of the Church of England.”  A teacher that he was, he was very strict in making sure that parents and god parents knew the creeds by heart. If people did not know or were unable to answer basic Christian questions, it was possible, they would be placed in further classes. He loved Christian faith and hence one of his children is named “Faith.” After the death of Bishop Peter Kalangula in the year 2008, Church Secretary Nandi was requested to be the Chairman of the Executive Committee of REACH-Namibia, the work he has done with humility and diligence for nine years till a new movement was mooted in 2017, taking effect in 2018, when the young folk converted to Reformed faith of Anglicanism and joined REACH-Namibia

Tate Denys was then elected to the newly reconstituted Executive Committee of REACH-Namibia on an advisory role until his passing on Saturday 24th September 2022.

Tate Denys, is described by many as a believer in education as a key to the future for young people. He was humble and full of wisdom. He further loved the Lord Jesus Christ and his church as well as the mission of the church. In fact, he loved and expounded the “five solas” of reformation namely that salvation is by Christ Alone, by faith alone, through Grace alone, in scripture alone as well as to the glory of God alone. These are the cornerstones of reformed and Evangelical faith. By evangelical, it is not meant of Pentecostalism or charismatic tendency but a classical belief in the supremacy of the Bible, as God’s word written which contains all things necessary for salvation. This has been classical for all protestants. This was the bulwark of actions taken during the time of reformation in the 1500s.

Tate Denys was reserved in many ways and he spoke only when it was necessary. He was trustworthy and indeed he had a special love for children and young people. He was also a farmer.

In mourning his passing, we also remember the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, that whoever is accepted by him, he shall keep, and nothing will have the power to snatch him from his hand, and then he shall raise him up on the last day. Indeed, by faith we shall see God!

Having been in and out of hospital recently, Tate Denys was brave enough to face the ailment. He received pastoral visits from our deacons and other ministers with an open heart. In fact, he encouraged those visiting him to remain faithful in the Lord. On 23 September, our deacons offered prayers for him at his hospital bed, a timely intervention because the very next day, his soul separated from the body, marking the end of his illustrious journey on earth. He was, like all of us, never an angel but we have a lot to celebrate about him than to lament about. We look forward in faith when that big day shall come and we shall be reunited with “aamwameme” who have gone before us.

“Jerusalem kwinya ohandi shi imbile, alushe ndi shina eumbo lehafo nee. Onaini handi i mo, ndi mone Kalunga, onaini handi i mo ndi mone Kalunga kange” Eimbilo 127. Omaimbulo Ongeleka