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Uunona-Hitler confusion

Uunona-Hitler confusion

Placido Hilukilwa


THE rock of Ompundja and historic fourth term regional councillor of the Oshana Region, who already served the constituency for the past 15-years, Adolf Uunona, and his community are perplexed by mainly the German media obsession with his first and middle name “Adolf Hitler” Uunona.


“Our councillor won the past 15-years and nobody cared, but suddenly he is making headlines because his middle name is “Hitler”. Here and in the rest of Namibia, he is known as Adolf Uunona and not Adolf Hitler Uunona. It is a pity and exposes a section of the Namibian and European communities as totally ignorant about the Aawambo history, culture and naming traditions.”


They pointed out that hundreds of “black Namibians“ joined the allied forces in the Second World War, fighting Hitler and fascism, amongst them the liberation Icon and National Hero, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, incidentally also from the North.


  • Hitler Ompundja historic regional councillor Oshana Region


Some of them who lost their lives are commemorated at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Robert Mugabe Avenue where the end of the different World Wars are commemorated every November.


“We would have expected more from those that only now became aware that Councillor Uunona won every election he participated in, in the past 15-years.”


Meanwhile, people familiar with the naming culture of Aawambo say that Uunona’s name is unique only in the sense that it was spelt correctly, as opposed to it’s transliterated form – Hitila / Nghitila / Itila.


It is common among Aawambo who prefer naming their children not only after ancestors, relatives or friends but also after people perceived to be strong, fearless, notorious, courageous and or generous.


Since Hitler is perceived to have been a notorious/fearless fighter, his name entered the Oshiwambo language in its transliterated form, Hitila/Nghitila, which is also the Oshiwambo word for “fearless”.


Thus, when the Aawambo people speak about the Second World War, they say “Oita yaHitila” (literally, Hitler’s War) and are extremely proud of having fought against him on the side of the Commonwealth.


However, in the case of Ompundja councillor, the name Hitler was spelt in its original form, causing the current uproar in the international media.


He is currently making headlines all over the world following the “discovery” of his middle name – Hitler – which was thus far known only to a few people within his circle of friends, relatives and comrades.


Uunona could not be reached for comment, but a source close to him revealed that he has now decreed a media silence after being bombarded with local and international telephone calls during the past few days.


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