QUEEN Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OuTA) has issued “a written declaration of no objection” for the designation of 40-year-old Deodencia Peinge-omake Nghishekwa as the Queen of Ovakwanyama on the Angolan side of the border.
Nghishekwa who is a teacher by profession, was chosen by members of the Oukwanyama Royal Clan in Angola and visited Queen Nelumbu at her Omhedi Palace recently to seek her blessing.
She was accompanied by members of the committee that is spearheading the restoration of the Oukwanyama royal house on the Angolan side of the border.
“The process of restoring the Oukwanayma royal house on the Angolan side of the border is now irreversible. If everything goes according to plan, Nghishekwa’s coronation will be in August this year, coinciding with the anniversary of the great battle of Mongua which was led by King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo against Portuguese expeditionary forces in August 1915,” said Bonifacio Shihafeleni, the head of the royal house restoration committee.
Speaking in a telephoning interview this morning, Shihafeleni said that he and Nghishekwa are currently in Luanda where they have several high profile appointments, including an audience with the minister of culture and top state house officials.
Oukwanyama has been without a reigning monarch since the death in combat of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo in February 1917, and when the royal house was restored in 1998, it was exclusively for the Ovakwanyama of Namibia.
“We want to accelerate the process of restoring Oukwanyama monarchical rule in Angola because there are power-hungry individuals who are hell-bend on hijacking the process for their own selfish interests,” said Shihafeleni in a clear reference to veteran politician and former deputy governor of the Cunene province Jeronimo Haleinge who had himself crowned king of Oukwanyama early this year.
However, Haleinge’s coronation was not recognized by the Angolan government and was censored by the Angolan state media.
Haleinge claims to be a member of the Oukwanyama Royal Clan – the lineage of King Haikukutu yaShinangolo who reigned from 1858 to 1859 – but his claim is disputed by those who claim to know him quite well, including veteran Angolan politician Thomas Shapwanale and Haleinge’s former school mate Kandy Nehova.
“Since Haleinge is not a member of the royal clan, his coronation on 2 February was invalid and cannot be allowed to stand because it would permanently damage the friendly relations between Angola and Namibia in general and would equally harm the fraternal relations between Ovakwanyama on both sides of the border,” said Shihafeleni.
Queen-designate Nghishekwa is Queen Nelumbu’s cousin. Her maternal grandmother Naufiku yaNdaumbile is the sister to Nelumbu’s maternal grandmother Nahango yaShilimonhulo, granddaughters of Mbabi yaNanyeni, a niece of Haimbili ya Haufiku, the 9th king of Oukwanyama.