A tale of two kings… as Shuumbwa and Kalenga are separately crowned
ONAMUNGUDO – The battle for the throne of Ondonga traditional community reached unprecedented heights yesterday as two warring factions each crowned its own leader as the omukwaniilwa.
This happened barely 24 hours after the late Omukwaniilwa of Ondonga, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, was laid to rest on Saturday at Olukonda.
The battle to succeed him has been ongoing since he (Kauluma) became frail and sickly. His death on March 26 only exacerbated the race to succeed him.
Early yesterday morning Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo was crowned as omukwaniilwa at his homestead of Onambango village. The crowning was witnessed by mostly the councillors that the late Kauluma had dismissed, including Nangolo himself.
Moments later, elders in the royal family announced Konis Eino Kalenga, the eldest nephew of Kauluma, as the next omukwaniilwa of Ondonga.
Royal elders are said to have made their choice on the basis that traditionally, if the omukwaniilwa dies, his younger brother should replace him.
But since Kauluma had no surviving brother, tradition apparently dictates that Kalenga, who is the son of Kauluma’s sister, succeeds him. Nangolo is Kalenga’s nephew who, according to elders, should take over from Kalenga when he is no longer in that position, essentially when he dies.
Hundreds of people skipped the traditional gathering known as ‘omwaale’ and flocked to Nangolo’s homestead at Onambango village, while another fraction remained at Kauluma’s former palace.
Omwaale is considered a very important gathering held by every Oshiwambo ethnic group a day after the burial of any deceased person. It is an occasion where all the announcements concerning the future without the deceased are made. It is at this public gathering that the family elders announced Kalenga as Kauluma’s successor.
Family elder Selma Gwanandjokwe Shejavali said that throughout the mourning period they engaged in consultations, thus their decision was based on a generational gap.
Kalenga is first in line of the late Kauluma’s grandchildren, while Nangolo is in the second lineage, the family said.
“We have to follow the tradition and customs as it was done by our ancestors, thus we had to follow the lineage levels. In this case the late Kauluma had living siblings thus we had to move to the next level, which is for the immediate grandchildren,” she said.
Nangolo was appointed by Kauluma himself as his deputy and possible successor, while Kalenga, who was brought up by the late omukwaniilwa since the age of six, enjoys the support of the elders of the royal family.
“Shuumbwa, who has long been appointed by the late Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas as his deputy and successor, was traditionally inaugurated as the 19th omukwaniilwa of Ondonga. Following the completion of all required rituals, Shuumbwa ascended to the throne this Sunday morning April, 14, 07:05 at his palace in Onambango,” writes Vilho Kamanya in a short statement yesterday.
History is repeating itself as the ongoing succession brings back flashbacks of 1884 when two royal brothers, Nehale lyaMpingana and Kambonde kaMpingana divided Ondonga into two segments, following the death of Omukwaniilwa Iitana Nekwiyu that year.
Nehale, who had his palace in Oshitembi village died in 1908, while Kambonde died in 1909. Omukwaniilwa Kambonde kaNgula, who reigned between 1909 and 1912, collectively succeeded the two.
Both current factions quoted the Traditional Authorities Act 25 of 2000 and customary laws as the basis of their appointments.
Shejavali said they are not going to ponder what the other faction did but to look forward to crowning their new leader.
Kalenga was of the applicants whose case was struck from the roll last Friday for lack of urgency after they had presented an urgent application to interdict Nangolo from behaving or acting like he is a successor to the late Kauluma.
2019-04-15 09:23:25 6 days ago