WINDHOEK - Namibians from the northern part of the country took time out of their busy schedules and joined Uukwaluudhi King Shikongo Hosea Taapopi who hosted a prayer gathering last Saturday.
Scores of people turned up for the prayer session, which was aimed at seeking God’s intervention regarding the social ills such as gender-based violence, high road accidents, suicides among young people and the prevailing drought.
According to the senior traditional leader of Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority, Johannes Ndundu, the tent that accommodates more than 3 000 people was filled to capacity and many service-goers had to sit on the floor, while others crowded around the windows and main entrance of the tent. With no more space inside the tent people took refuge under trees and building shade outside.
Ndundu explained that thousands who filled the tent took an oath to refrain from committing, participating in or contributing to any action that may lead to gender-based violence, youth committing suicide, driving recklessly in causing road accidents and also for good rain to save the lives of those who sleep on an empty stomach and the livestock that are dying from drought.
He said that apart from flocking to the prayer service led by the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), Shekutamba VV Nambala, the service attendees from all walks of life braced the hot weather to listen to religious messages from Pentecostal pastors and ministers from other mainstream churches such as Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches.
“People were crying and praying. We all fasted the whole day except those who were taking medication. The king had to apply ashes to his body. Ashes are used during times of mourning and repentance and everybody in attendance has to apply ashes on the body,” explained the traditional leader. He said losing loved ones is not easy. Namibia has lost a lot of breadwinners through passion killings, domestic violence, road accidents and suicide.
“Fulfilling this request of scattering their ashes can help to provide some comfort and solace. The comforting prayers for scattering ashes will help to bring comfort and peace during this time of mourning. We hope God will hear our prayers and all will be okay in the country,” said Ndundu.
He said although the king has made this call a one-off, the traditional authority is hoping it will be a yearly matter because the public showed up in good numbers. Those attending included different pastors, traditional authorities from other ethnic groups and community members from Omusati and other regions.