Bondelswarts Call for Succession Law

The Bondelswarts in the Karas Region are calling for a law on the succession of traditional leaders to avoid unnecessary conflict and to ensure the smooth and peaceful change of leadership once a tradional leader has passed on.

This sentiment was expressed during a workshop organised by a committee of the Bondelswarts community in an effort to revive the identity of the Bondelswarts, as well as to raise awareness among younger members of the community. Speaking to New Era on the sidelines of the workshop, one of the organisers of the workshop, Joseph Mckay, said it pains him that the Bondelswarts as a traditional group are fast approaching irrelevance. He said his greatest concern is that the youth in particular have no interest in the cultural and traditional activities of the Bondelswarts. “The committee as you can see is made up of only young people, because we know young people listens to young people only. We are also planning to have a youth seminar in the Karasburg, Warmbad vicinity later this year. The idea is to sensitise young people and to make them understand their identity as members of the Bondelswarts community,” Mckay said. Meanwhile, Awebahe Hoeseb, speaking on behalf of his traditional authority said his community has succession laws in place that prohibit the appointment of women to the chieftaincy as a measure of preserving their tribal identity. He said this measure was put in place, because women marry men from different cultures and as head of the tribe such a man would promote his own culture and language in the community. It would be a shame to have the children of the royal house speak a foreign language and to have no knowledge of their own culture, Hoeseb pointed out. The Bondelswarts, a nomadic Khoikhoi group, settled in Warmbad in Namibia in 1905. The 1922 Bondelswarts uprising is one of the main early resistance episodes recorded in Namibian history.

Source : New Era