Windhoek-OvaMbanderu Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva has encouraged OvaMbanderu/OvaHerero youth to preserve the rich cultural heritage of their tribe’s by incorporating it into their daily activities.
Speaking in Mosu village, Botswana last weekend during the annual Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Ovahimba Cultural Day, he said: “As we learn and celebrate our past, including our culture, let us not forget the youth as an agent of change. Your main task is to make yourselves the architects of the future.”
“You owe this community a better future,” he underscored and beseeched the younger generation to think beyond what they have achieved and come up with new strategies that will make the two ethnic groups relevant and prosperous, in both socio-cultural developments, as well as political and economic advancement.
“Let the event not only be a reminder of how difficult we have transverse as a people but also the beginning of another wonderful period for us,” he said, adding that the time of peaceful, harmonious co-existence and reconciling of what might be anti-cooperative behaviour and/or actions, or anything perceived as antagonistic to each other, had come.
OvaMbanderu and OvaHerero people found themselves in a much-compromised cultural situation due to the effects of Germany’s colonial war fought in then German South West Africa some 130 years ago, noted the chief.
It was not out of pleasure [that they fled to] many parts of Southern Africa, such as Botswana and South Africa, “but through the force of the gun and torture, which led to most parts of our heritage and culture being lost in the process,” he observed.
He said it is essential to the happiness of the community to have their youngsters organising and celebrating their culture and being.
He said it was because of the afore-mentioned problems that the OvaMbanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) resolved to join the Namibian government in the negotiations with the German government, along with other chiefs representing the descendants of victims of genocide.
“My traditional authority has a representative on the Chief’s Forum, the acting chief, Mr Gerson Katjirua, and another representative on the technical committee and the negotiating team, Mr Ueriurika Freddy Nguvauva,” he reported.
He further said they are demanding that Germany accept that the atrocities committed during the German colonial rule from 1884 until 1908 constitute an act of genocide. Secondly, he said, upon accepting the definition of genocide, they should apologise, show remorsey and finally agree to pay reparations.
“These are the three critical demands we, together with the Namibian government, have put forth,” he stated, adding that they submitted a quantum to Germany, which should be for the benefit everyone, inclusive of the affected people in the diaspora.
“This matter was discussed during the negotiations with the German government and further consultations will follow at the appropriate time,” he said.
Nguvauva said community outreach programmes were undertaken recently in Namibia and would be extended to all affected communities in due course, inclusive of those in the diaspora.
“I have a dedicated team who established a genocide sub-committee and should you require an extensive briefing on the status of the negotiations between the two governments and ourselves, kindly liaise with me, so-that I organise this committee to travel down to Botswana for extensive debriefings,” the chief advised.