WINDHOEK, 20 JUN – Founding Father of the Namibian Nation, Sam Nujoma has appealed to the Voigts family to hand over a belt of historical and cultural significance to the Chief of the Ovambanderu people, Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva.
The traditional belt worn by the late Chief Kahimemua Nguavua is said to have represented many important aspects within the Nguvauva clan.
Nujoma who made the appeal on Sunday during the 122nd commemoration of the battle of Otjunda at Okahandja, said giving back the belt will serve as a token of reconciliation and goodwill.
“I am reliably informed that Gustav Voigts was the soldier who was tasked to disarm the late Chief Kahimemua and he took off from him a sacred traditional belt of historical significance which he presented to one of the museums in Germany for safekeeping, but later went back to collect it,” said Nujoma.
Chief Nguvavuva Nguvauva of the Ovambanderu people in Botswana concurred that the belt is of historical significance to them, appealing to whoever is in possession of it to heed the call of the Founding President and return the item.
The belt, according to the advisor to the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, Ueriurika Nguvauva, was among a lot of items donated to the Braunschweig Museum in Germany, but was reportedly collected after a certain time by Voigts.
“What is significant about this particular belt of grandfather is that when he was about to die, he untied all the knots except two which represented the then Ovamboland and his son Hijatuvao Nguvauva.”
He further explained: “The knot representing Ovamboland meant that it was through this part of the country that Namibia’s independence would be achieved. The one representing Hijatuvao meant that someone who will lead the Ovambanderu in Namibia will hail from Botswana.”
Nujoma described Kahimemua as “the first person to have paid the highest sacrifice by the brutal forces of imperial Germans who converged upon Africa in general and Namibia in particular when they decided to divide Africa amongst themselves on a silver platter at Potsdam near Berlin in 1884”.
Chief Kahimemua, according to Nujoma, refused to give land to the German administration when they demanded land from him.
The battle of Otjunda (Sturmfeld) took place on 06 May 1896, where the Nguvauva clan was nearly wiped out by the German colonial troops. Kahimemua, who was wounded, left the battle unnoticed. However, he was later arrested and disarmed.
He was then forced to walk from Gobabis to Okahandja, where he was shot with 12 bullets.