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Oukwanyama leader supports demand for return of Mandume skull

Summary

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority on Saturday held a belated 104-year remembrance of its late leader Mandume yaNdemufayo at the Oukwanyama royal homestead at Omhedi village in the Ohangwena Region.Leader of the Oukwanyama, Martha Mwadinomho waKristi…

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority on Saturday held a belated 104-year remembrance of its late leader Mandume yaNdemufayo at the Oukwanyama royal homestead at Omhedi village in the Ohangwena Region.

Leader of the Oukwanyama, Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu laid wreaths on the yaNdemufayo monument to honour the role he played in fighting the colonial forces before dying in the operation of Oihole jungle in southern Angola on 06 February 1917.

She also laid wreaths on the grave of her predecessor, Kornelius Mwetupunga Shelungu who died in 2005 and is buried in the royal cemetery at Omhedi, and the graves of her late son, Henock Mandume Hangula and another royal member, Hileni Kahona Hatutale.

Hangula and Hatutale were buried at Omhedi in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

Speaker after speaker during Saturday’s remembrance described yaNdemufayo, who served the Oukwanyama community between 1911 and 1917, as one of the fallen heroes in the fight against imperialism and colonialism in Africa.

It is believed that the colonial forces decapitated yaNdemufayo after his death at Oihole. The whereabouts of his head remains unknown and as such, yaNelumbu during Saturday’s commemoration appealed to anyone with information regarding the missing skull to come forth.

Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba during the remembrance also at Omhedi village in 2013 demanded the yet unresolved return of yaNdemufayo’s skull from the British people.

“The English should inform us where Mandume’s head is and it is a demand, not a request, that they return his skull,” demanded Pohamba then.

A combined British-South African force and Portuguese forces are said to have been involved in the battle where yaNdemufayo was either shot or allegedly shot himself to avoid capture by the colonial forces.

Source: Namibia Press Agency