80-year dream finally comes true

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WINDHOEK – President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday turned the 80-year dream of the Ombalantu Traditional Authority into reality when he handed the authority its ritual firestone.

Finnish missionaries controversially removed the sacred firestone out of the country to Finland.

The Finnish missionaries took the ritual firestone claiming it promoted “paganism” among the Ombalantu community.

The handover of the ritual stone was attended by a delegation from the traditional authority, led by chief Oswin Mukulu, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob and several Cabinet ministers.

“This stone is part of our heritage and carries historic significance, not only for the Ombalantu Traditional Authority, but the entire country,” said Pohamba.

The president said he had no doubt that the stone would serve as a symbol of unity for the Ombalantu community.

“I commend the Ombalantu Traditional Authority for having taken the important initiative in the tracing and repatriation of this stone. Let us keep on preserving our culture for the benefit of our people,” said Pohamba.

Chief Mukulu thanked Pohamba for playing a vital role to ensure the stone was brought back to its rightful owners who have been waiting for decades for its return.

“I was told this stone was taken out of the country because it promotes paganism, but when I look at it I do not see how it represents or promotes paganism,” said Mukulu.

He promised that the stone would be kept safe.

Mukulu wrote to Pohamba in 2012 requesting him to intervene in the transfer process of the Ombalantu ritual firestone from Finland to Namibia.

President Pohamba advanced Mukulu’s request to the Finnish authorities during an official visit late last year and he received a positive response.


By Mathias Haufiku