About 1 000 loyalists, supporters, sympathisers and dignitaries descended on ‘Omimbonde Vitano’ like bees on a honeypot to witness the ascendance of Eben Tjozohongo II Nguvauva to the pinnacle of the Ovambanderu leadership.
The three-day event took place at Omaueuozonjanda in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke region.
Omaueuozonjanda was a hive of activity after the gates swung open on Friday.
The guests were treated to a buffet of activities in celebration of the main event.
These included horse riding by Ovambanderu warriors, traditional activities, including ombimbi, ondoro and outjina [songs and rituals], drills by Ovambanderu militias and a beauty pageant.
The ceremony would reach its climax on Sunday with the confirmation and coronation of Tjozohongo, who became the fourth chief of the Ovambanderu community.
Tjozohongo is the third eldest son of the late Ovambanderu chief Munjuku II Nguvauva, who died in 2008.
He filled the vacuum left by his half-brother, the late Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva, who succumbed to Covid-19 late last year.
Those who came before him include Munjuku Nguvauva, leader of the Ovambanderu 1880; Kahimemua Nguvauva; Munjuku II Nguvauva, and his elder half-brother Kilus, who led the community from 2014–2021.
Guests came from all parts of the country, including neighbouring Botswana to bear witness to the occasion.
Before the main occasion, Charles Kakomee Ua Tjeja had a poem for the soon-to-be Ovambenderu chief.
It was aimed at clearing the path as he takes his people to the “promised land”.
This is the condensed translated version, adapted from the popular Omurari FM flagship show, ‘Keetute’: “My king, Tjozohongo, I am your disciple. I cannot teach you. I am your servant. The work the Lord has given requires cooperation and collaboration”.
When your people are venting, pay attention.
Seek knowledge and wisdom from God.
Remember the Ten Commandments.
“Take the throne of your forebears, son of kings. As king, you must be welcoming and receive all with open arms. You can own the entire sky and the stars [have all the opulence], but if you don’t have a following, you are poor. Lead your people, son of Nguvauva. Your work must spread like rays of the sun. Your road will have many obstacles; don’t forget to carry an axe as you embark.”
On the day, Nguvauva’s uncle, Nguvauva Nguvauva, who lives in Botswana, handed him the instruments of power and authority over the affairs of the community.
Addressing the crowd, the soft-spoken Nguvauva was overwhelmed, conceding that he did not have much to say, apart from extending gratitude for being entrusted with the mammoth task of leading the community.
One thing was clear though, “the day you have all been waiting for has arrived”.
From the onset, the new chief posited himself as a man too “insignificant” to bring together a crowd of that magnitude.
“You have brought me to this position. Without all of you, I am nothing. I am not a wealthy person. I don’t have gold and silver. I am your old servant. All grace goes to our God and ancestors for making this event possible through you all,” Nguvauva told the crowd.
He then appealed for unity among the Ovambanderu community – even those who are opposed to each other.
“Fighting amongst ourselves must become a thing of the past” – a call to which that was met by ululations from the assembly.
“Our common future is more important than anything. There is enough room for everyone in my father’s house. Let us strive for peace and love. Work side-by-side with all other nations,” he pleaded.
Nguvauva then vowed to maintain existing ties the authority has with key partners while also building new ones.