Professor R. Trede
Tribalism is one of the greatest challenges in Namibia, even 29 years after independence. If one ever expects tribalism, it might be by traditional authorities who have first of all to look for their community.
However, the late king of the Aandonga made the difference. This great Namibian leader did permanently care for his people, not only regarding traditional issues but also their socio-economic development.
This is how I got to know the king. Together with my wife Lisa I conducted from 2000 to 2002 training programmes for micro businesses in and around Ondangwa. The king attended the opening and closing ceremonies in order to motivate his people, the participants, and to evaluate the progress.
King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas was impressed, very impressed, by the success stories of our training. As a sign of appreciation, we received a unique present, a traditional name-giving of our then three-months-old daughter by the king himself.
This was extraordinary, the greatest honour I ever received considering that I immigrated only 1995 from Germany to Namibia and the little girl, now called Nangula, had blonde hair and blue eyes. I had already the Namibian citizenship which was very important for me because I only wanted this beloved country to be my home.
However, King Elifas ignored all borders of colour and ethnic groups. With the name-giving I felt to become a real Namibian!
Whenever we drove from Windhoek to the North we visited the king over years. He always had time for us even when he was sick, especially for his growing blonde daughter Nangula.
A second highlight of our close relation took place three years after the name giving. The king visited us on our hunting farm. I have learnt from him that traditionally Elands are the royal animal, but they don’t exist anymore in the North. As a boy of sixteen years Immanuel Kauluma accompanied his father who was hunting an Eland the last time on horseback. Now he had a chance to hunt the royal animal himself. King Elifas took this as an opportunity and he successfully got the Eland! When we were sitting that night at the fireplace and eating omandjaja (small intestines) which was his favourite part of the eland the King mentioned “I gave you and your family the pride and feeling of becoming and being accepted as true proud Namibians. This hunting experience has also confirmed that I am an Ondonga King and I can now use the stomach of the Eland to make the first oshipando (royal dress) for the Queen.”
These are examples of a real Namibian unifier. The nation should never forget Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.
* Professor Trede is managing member of Development Consultants for Southern Africa (DECOSA) CC specialized on Local Economic Development and training of small entrepreneurs.
2019-04-18 09:42:48 4 months ago