Small gathering for Nehale commemoration

30 January 2018 | Cultural

Some 50 members of the Ondonga community gathered in the Etosha National Park over the weekend to commemorate the battle of Namutoni.

The gathering was held in honour of Owambo warriors who were killed at Namutoni on 28 January 1904. The event was, amongst others, attended by deputy environment minister Tommy Nambahu and chairperson of the Oshikoto Regional Council, Samuel Shivute.

Nambahu explained how it has been 114 years since Ondonga Chief Nehale Mpingana's 500 men attacked German troops at the fort at Namutoni. At least 70 warriors died in the battle. This was the second time Mpingana's attack on the German troops was commemorated. The first commemoration was held at the same site last year.

“Many of us were here last year and our return signifies our commitment to honouring this event and highlighting it on the national calendar,” Nambahu said.

He said unity and teamwork are needed if a shrine is to be erected here in honour of those who died during the battle of Namutoni and if the day is to be made a national event. Director of heritage and culture in the education ministry Esther Mwoombola-Goagoses stood in for her minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, during the event.

She said the battle of Namutoni is one of the historic events that shaped the future of the country.

“It is important to note that the battle was carried out by a combined Aawambo warrior force and not only by an Aandonga warrior force,” Mwoombola-Goagoses explained. She pointed out that Mpingana called upon others in the Owambo kingdoms to join forces and stop the advance of the German colonial forces.

She said King Shaanika shaNashilongo (Ongandjera) and King Negumbo yaKandenge (Uukwambi) were some of Aawambo traditional leaders who joined Mpingana in the battle of Namutoni.

NAMPA

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