NAMIBIAN and Angolan flags were hoisted side by side and the national anthems of both countries were sung one after the other to kick-start the 102nd commemoration of the death of King Mandume ya Ndemufayo, who is considered a national hero both in Namibia and in Angola.
The commemoration took place at the historic Oihole village in southern Angola from 5 to 6 February.
Mandume was the king of Oukwanyama from 1911 until his death in combat against colonial occupation forces on 6 February 1917. He was buried at Oihole and his tomb is classified as a national monument, making Oihole village a preferred destination for tourists.
A delegation of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OuTA) participated in the commemorative events at the invitation of Angolan authorities.
Queen Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu could not make it to Oihole due to ill health. She tasked retired school principal, Dineinge Sheya, to lead the delegation on her behalf.
Angolan deputy minister for culture, Maria da Piedade de Jesus, delivered the key-note address during the main event on Wednesday.
The event was also addressed by the governor of the Cunene province, Virgílio Tyova, and his deputy Feliciano Salomão Himulova.
Ohangwena regional governor Usko Nghaamwa’s speech was presented on his behalf by Oshikango constituency councillor Phillip Namundjebo, while senior headman Djeimo Popyeinawa delivered Queen Nelumbu’s speech.
All the speakers were unanimous in affirming the strong brotherly bond that exists between Namibia and Angola and the need to strengthen existing cooperation in all spheres.
Dineinge Sheya expressed satisfaction with the “dignified way” the OuTA delegation was received and “the professional manner our Angolan brothers” managed the commemorative events.
The commemorative events started with a round table discussion Tuesday evening, during which experts from both countries presented research papers on the history, culture and traditional norms of Ovakwanyama.
The secretary of the OuTA’s History and Research Commission, Asser Sheuyange, presented a paper on how the succession to the Oukwanyama throne works and who qualifies to be king or queen of Ovakwanyama.
The presentation was perfectly timed and was well received by the Angolans a few days after they witnessed the controversial coronation of Jeronimo Haleinge as the new king of Ovakwanyama in Angola.
However, king Haleinge was the notable absence at Oihole.