By Hileni Nembwaya
KING Mandume Ndeulikufa Ndemufayo, the last independent ruler of the OvaKwanyama people in southern Angola and northern Namibia will be remembered at Oihole, this weekend.
February 6, marks a centenary since the death of the legendary Ohamba yOvaKwanyama, King Ndemufayo, who fought Portuguese and British colonial forces in and around Oukwanyama.
Large crowds are expected at Omhedi (palace) in Ohangwena region for the commemoration.
Ndemufayo was born in 1894.
In 1911, Ndemufayo took over the Oukwanyama kingdom and his reign lasted until 1917 when he died of machine gun fire while his kingdom was under attack from South African forces.
However, OvaKwanyama oral historians assert that the king died under his own terms by opting to commit suicide instead of being killed by the South African colonialists. It is believed the colonialists later severed Ndemufayo’s head.
Ndemufayo is honoured as a national hero in both Angola and Namibia.
According to one of the event organisers, Josia Ujombala the commemorations will mark 100 years after the death of Ndemufayo.
“The commemorations will not discriminate. We have invited everyone and we are expecting a huge turnout from both Namibian and Angolan communities. We are happy to announce that the Angolan community has responded well to our invitation and they have highly praised it as well,” said Ujombala.
The Oukwanyama traditional authority has organised a four–day event with a number of activities to be held from Friday till Monday, next week.
Ujombala further said that a group of delegates, in the company of Meekulu Ohamba yOvaKwanyama Martha Mwadinomho Kristian yaNelumbu is expected to depart from Omhedi palace for Angola for the laying of the wreath at Oihole, Cunene Province, Angola, on Monday.
Ndemufayo grew up during a time of significant upheaval in the Oukwanyama kingdom due to the presence of European merchants and missionaries.
He was third in line to the Kwanyama throne hence the prince lived in fear of assassination from an early age.
Overall, King Ndemufayo sought to restore previous Oukwanyama wealth and prosperity against a decaying system of local leadership.
Mandume Ya Ndemufayo is one of the first nine national heroes of Namibia interred at the national Heroes’ Acre in 2002.
A University in Angola that was established in 1963, Universidade Mandume Ya Ndemufayo, is also named after him.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015