Chief’s Remains Repatriated from SA

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By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro WINDHOEK Windhoekers got a foretaste of what the burial of erstwhile Ovaherero Chief, Tuvahi David Kambazembi of the Royal House of Kambazembi, would look like on Saturday at the Onguatjindu burial shrine at the foot of the Waterberg Mountain near the Waterberg Plateau Park outside Okakarara. Hundreds of people, most of them in full paramilitary regalia of the Green, Red and White flags thronged the Red Flag Commando Hall on Sunday to await the arrival of his body from South Africa while another contingent went to welcome him at the Hosea Kutako Windhoek International Airport where his body touched home soil around 17h15 on board an Air Namibia flight from Johannesburg. Chief Kambazembi died in Lephalale in the Limpopo Province of South Africa while on an official traditional fact-finding mission to establish where his grandfather, Kaunjonjua Kambazembi, was buried with the intent to repatriate his remains later this year. The intersection of Clemence Kapuuo and Ephraim Hei in Katutura, the location of the Commando Hall, and surroundings, was already by Saturday midday a hype of Green, Red and White flags activities including drilling and battle cries shunting in expectation of the body of the chief that was initially expected on Saturday afternoon. The mere fact that the body did not arrive on Saturday afternoon as scheduled did not dampen the spirits of the chief’s adherents and other sympathisers, including the Green, Flag and White flags’ members as the Sunday even saw a bigger a turnout. An hour or so after the plane had landed the entourage that went to receive the chief’s body, led by Senior Traditional Councillor in the Royal House of Kambazembi, Edward Kauari, accompanied by family members and a regiment comprising of officers of the three flags, eventually emerged from the airport terminal amidst eulogies shunted by Ovaherero and Ovambanderu traditional praise singers, led among them by Unotjari Katjimune. The womenfolk raised the stakes of the hero’s welcome afforded the chief as they joined in and at times took the lead with their brand of praise singing known as Ondoro, tuned to the mixed occasion of mourning, lamentation and praising. And even bigger but sombre and orderly spectre befitting the occasion awaited the Chief at the Commando Hall. The two streets had by then virtually become no go areas. Inside the hall people where singing while outside the drilling show would have made the old Soviet Union army green with envy. Battle cry shunting impregnated an otherwise quiet Sunday evening. The Chief has finally arrived on home soil in Windhoek where he would be until tomorrow when he goes to his holy fire in Eiseb Block for a traditional ritual at his homestead before he proceeds to Okakarara on Wednesday for ceremonies at the seat of his traditional authority before he is finally laid to eternal rest on Saturday.