• September 18th, 2018
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Go Back to the Original Names

Please me space in your paper to clear the air on some wrongly used terms and names mispronounced. I would like to firstly focus on the northerners, referred to as 'Ovambos'. One distorted fact is on the number of 'Ovambo' tribal groups of the north, having been given as seven since the colonial days, excluding one group, namely the, Ovambanja/Aambadja of Okalongo. So, there are eight tribes or groups. Secondly, there are people who dispute the fact that there is no umbrella tribe or nation known as "Ovambos' but in a lightning speed they talk about the Namibian nation or "Namibians". I believe that the word Namibians describes the people of different tribes residing in this part of the world in Africa in order to distinguish them from other Africans in Africa. The word 'Ovambos' might have been coined at a certain time in history, just like the word' Namibians' and has been accepted, working and unifying and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that Thirdly, some terms used to describe the northerners are misleading and meaningless. These are terms such as 'Ovambos' (the term I used for the sake of better illustration), Ovambo people, Oshiwambo people. The right terms to describe the people under discussion would preferably be 'Omuwambo,' meaning, one Oshiwambo speaking person. And please note that the 'U' is silent, and the right pronunciation would be, om' wambo. The 'w' must sound like you are pronouncing the word 'what' in English and not as 'v' in the word, 'vocal'. 'Aawambo' is the plural of the word, Omuwambo, meaning many of these people while the word 'Okawambo' is a diminutive, and the word 'Ewambo' is either, a big or an ugly or a big bad-mannered Omuwambo, while the word 'Omawambo' is the plural form of 'Ewambo'. One can also refer to the people under discussion as 'Oshiwambo-speaking people' and not 'Oshiwambo people,' which is misleading and meaningless since it seems to have come from the term e.g. "The English people". In my language, the word Oshiwambo would mean the language spoken by those people. Forthly, I find it strange for Namibians to seem not to pronounce some words and names in our country, a thing which foreigners do without any problem. Take for example a town, Otjiwarongo. This town is pronounced 'Otjiwarongo' with the 'w' as 'v', like in the word 'vocal' and not with the 'w' pronounced like in an English word 'what. Lastly, I would like many of our places to be given their original names and not to continue with their misspelt names. Examples are Amutuni, which has been baptised as 'Namutoni' and places such as Etotha, which has since been baptised as 'Etosha'. Let justice be done on this. The arguments that it would cost us a lot of money and that we would lose tourists, etc. would not hold water. Thank you Ndinomwaami
2006-12-20 00:00:00 11 years ago
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