Ovambanderu representative Ueriurika Nguvauva last week said the delegation is fully convinced that the cartridge belt kept in a Braunschweig museum, Braunschweig, Germany was indeed that of the late Ovambanderu chief Kahimemua Hija-Kungairi Nguvauva.
Ueriurika, who over a week ago accompanied senior traditional leaders to Germany to identify a belt confiscated from Kahimemua before his execution by the imperial Germans in 1896, said one of the key features on the belt is that it is similar to that of former Ovambanderu warrior Apona Kanguatjivi.
“The cartridge appears to be an original hand-made product used by our people at the time. They are also similar to the ones used by the Nama people. Also, a certain thorn from the ‘Ondjete’ tree could have been used to punch holes through the leather,” Ueriurika said.
“We are fully convinced that the cartridge belt we have viewed is the authentic original belt of the late Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva,” he added.
Kahimemua, well known as ‘Omuhatamunua’ by the younger generation, was the chief of the Ovambanderu community between 1850 and 1896.
In May 1896, in Otjunda, Chief Kahimemua was wounded and later surrendered to the German colonial soldiers. Accused of organising the uprising against the Germans, he was sentenced to death and executed on 12 June 1896, together with Nikondemus Kavikunua in Okahandja.
Kahimemua was shot 11 times all over the body but did not succumb to all those bullets. He only died after he pointed out to his executors the chief only dies when he is shot through the forehead – and the 12th bullet was shot.
Following the positive identification of the belt, Ueriurika said the community has recommended a joint project between the Stadtische Museum of Braunschweig and the traditional authority to work on a book on Kahimemua and the Ovambanderu people in both German and English.
“We also requested the City Council of Braunschweig and the Stadtische Museum of Braunschweig to resolve soonest the release of the belt to be handed over to our government so that it can be repatriated back to the motherland,” Ueriurika said. Ueriurika further said they have also requested the City Council of Braunschweig to consider naming a prominent street or a building after Kahimemua and the Ovambanderu people.
“We also requested the City Council of Braunschweig to consider sponsoring a kindergarten, a library or a hall at the Ovambanderu Headquarters known as Omimbondevitano at Epukiro Pos 3 that will be named after Braunschweig.” The Ovambanderu delegation led by senior traditional councillor Ripuree Tjozongoro was expected to be back in the country last week. firstname.lastname@example.org