Having seen, touched and feel it, Ovambanderu convinced about the traditional belt

Staff Writer

It is now left to the Namibian government and its German counterpart to institute the necessary procedures through their normal bilateral engagements for the repatriation of the traditional belt of erstwhile Ovambanderu chief and divine priest.

A delegation of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) under the leadership of Senior Councilor, Ripuree Tjozongoro, touched down at the Hosea Kutako International Airport this afternoon, following a week in Germany at the Braunschweig museum engaging the museum’s authority in identifying the belt of late Kahimemua Nguvauva, whom the Ovambanderu only reverently refers to as “Omuhatamunua”, meaning one who cannot be referred to by his name out of reverence.

The delegation returned to a heroes/heroines’ welcome highlighted by battle cries, drilling as well as hymning at their traditional commando in Katutura at the corner of Richard Tjiramba and Simon Uanivi streets. Addressing a media conference to give the Namibian nation feedback of the Mission Braunschweig which they deem as successful, having positively identified the belt as that their erstwhile leader, one the delegates, Ueriurika Nguvauva, informs that the Namibian government, that is aware of their missions and belt in question, will engage the German government for the repatriation of the belt once the town council in which the Braunschweig Museum is, has, as it is now expected to, passed a resolution for the handing over of the belt to its legitimate owners, the Ovambanderu. He affirms that the Namibian Ovambanderu delegation has returned to Namibia, convinced by the traditional experts who accompanied it, and that included leather experts, plus the available records in the museum itself, that indeed the belt is that of late Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva.
Among the pointers that this is indeed a traditional belt is its texture, which after close to 125 years the arrest, court martialing and death by firing squad of Kahimemua Nguvaua by the schutztruppe, colonial Germany’s military personnel in the then German South West Africa, as Namibia was then known, is still as traditionally origin as it could ever. Thanks to especially its traditional preservation powder, known as otjize or ochre. “After seeing it with our naked eye, physically touching and feeling it,” the delegation could not but be convinced that the belt was made from a traditionally processed leather, that of a cow. Not only this but its stitches were unmistakable that of a traditional stitching process. The belt was not the only one in the museum as there were others but the information attached to others were so clear.

Identifying the belt of their much revered leader eventually, was an overwhelming for some members of the delegation who could not help but broke into emotional ruptures, especially at the memory of Chief Munjuku III Nguvauva, who so much campaigned for the find and repatriation of his great, great grandfather. But sadly for the Ovambanderu community, Munjuku III could not be part of this historic mission, having succumbed to Covid-19 this July.

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