Aminuis bids Chief Riruako farewell

OTJONGOMBE: Members of the public on Saturday descended on the tiny village of Otjongombe in the Omaheke Region to pay their last respects to the late OvaHerero Paramount Chief, Kuaima Riruako.

Otjongombe is situated some 150 kilometres south-east of Gobabis in the Aminuis Constituency. It is the traditional homestead of the Riruako clan, and it was here where the last traditional rites and rituals where performed to bid a proper farewell to the late Chief, who died on 02 June.

Riruako’s body, on its last journey to Aminuis, made a stop-over at Gobabis on Friday, where hundreds turned up to pay their last respects.

Various speakers, religious groups, school children, community and traditional leaders joined ordinary members of the public to observe the chief’s body being transported through this Eastern town.

Before reaching Otjongombe, the Chief’s body also made a short stop-over at the village of Toasis, considered by many as the traditional headquarters of the OvaHerero people of Aminuis.

Toasis is also the home town of legendary OvaHerero leader, Chief Katjikururume Hosea Kutako, who played a pivotal role in the liberation of Namibia.

A motor convoy of about 50 cars accompanied the hearse carrying the late Riruako’s body through the villages of Aminuis, slowing down at every village along the way.

Emotions ran high amongst the hundreds of mourners who lined up almost every kilometre along the road to Toasis as they bid farewell to one of the most revered leaders of the OvaHerero. As has become custom during such events, traditional cavalry and infantry troops displayed world class drilling.

Battle chants known as ombimbi (performed by men) and ondoro (performed by women), and other traditional rituals welcomed the hearse carrying Riruako’s body into Otjongombe just before sunset on Friday.

The same activities continued throughout the weekend, before the chief’s body was transported back to Windhoek on Sunday.

Riruako will be laid to rest at Okahandja next Sunday.