Labour minister’s daughter was open about depression

A close relative of the late daughter of labour minister Utoni Nujoma, who died in a suspected suicide on Friday, revealed that she appeared to be doing well as she was open about her depression.

Niita Nujoma’s body was discovered in a riverbed in Cimbebasia, Windhoek, during the morning hours, according to police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi. The minister was not available for comment.

However, a family member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, informed The Namibian yesterday that the family believed Nujoma (37) was in good spirits, as she had been open about her struggles with depression.

However, they also acknowledged the difficulty of truly understanding someone else’s inner turmoil.

“It is just so sad that this happened. As a family, we thought she was doing well because she was open about her depression, and we were trying to help,” she said.

Describing Nujoma as a sweet, intelligent and loving individual who valued family, she reminisced about the last time they saw her at their aunt’s funeral a few months ago, where she was delighted to be reunited with her family.

The relative pointed out that Nujoma had not been receiving the support she needed, which had contributed to her depression.

“As much as she needed help, it seemed like she couldn’t access it. She had support in other aspects of her life, but without a job and financial stability, it was challenging for her to take care of herself and her two teenage boys,” she explained.

She further revealed that the late Nujoma had been dependent on her mother’s pension, as her mother was retired.
They had been living together in Rocky Crest, and now, the children are staying with their grandmother.

The relative added that the situation was emotionally challenging for the family, as they had previously lost Niita’s older brother, Utoni Nujoma junior, in 2003 near London, United Kingdom.

“His death was also a tragedy, similar to this one, as they were the only two children of their mother,” she remarked.
In 2015, Nujoma was elected as the secretary of Epilepsy Namibia.

The organisation released a statement on its Facebook page yesterday, praising Nujoma for her many years of service on the Epilepsy Namibia committee.

She actively participated in events, meetings and awareness campaigns aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with epilepsy in Namibia.

“Rest in peace, dear Niita. You played an important role in our lives,” the statement concluded.

Last Tuesday, a missing person report was filed at the Windhoek police station, reporting Nujoma missing from her home in Rocky Crest.
She was later found in a riverbed with a slit wrist.

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