President Hifikepunye Pohamba has demanded the return of the skull of late King Mandume yaNdemufayo of Oukwanyama from the British people.
Speaking during the remembrance of yaNdemufayo's death at the palace of the Oukwanyama at Omhedi village in the Ohangwena Region on Saturday, Pohamba said the whereabouts of yaNdemufayo's skull remained a mystery.
It is believed that yaNdemufayo died in battle at Oihole village in southern Angola by allegedly shooting himself on February 6 1917 to avoid capture by the then colonial forces.
The British colonial forces are said to have decapitated yaNdemufayo for reasons only known to them.
"The English should inform us where Mandume's head is and it is a demand, not a request, that they return his skull," Pohamba said during the colourful remembrance ceremony.
The president suggested that those who are in possession of yaNdemufayo's skull should surrender it to either the Angolan government or the Namibian government.
Pohamba said all skulls of OvaHerero and Nama people killed by the German colonial forces should also be identified and repatriated from Germany.
"We are here today to pay homage to the legacy of a legendary African leader, Ohamba Mandume yaNdemufayo, who died in a battle against the combined British-South African and Portuguese forces at Oihole 96 years ago," Pohamba said.
He said yaNdemufayo was a hero not only for the OvaKwanyama, but he was one of the African leaders such as Patrick Lumumba (a Congolese independence leader) who envisioned an independent African continent.
"We salute his gallantry and his spirit of resistance. The bravery of leaders such as Ohamba Mandume yaNdemufayo inspires us to always face challenges head on, just as they did in their own time," Pohamba said.
In her speech for the occasion, Queen Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu of OuKwanyama said yaNdemufayo's remembrance gathering was to signify the unity of the OvaKwanyama community and to pay tribute to the late king of Oukwanyama.
YaNelumbu said the remembrance of the death of yaNdemufayo will be held on February 6 each year as from next year.
During Saturday's remembrance of yaNdemufayo's death Pohamba and yaNelumbu also performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a museum in memory of yaNdemufayo that is going to be put up at Omhedi village in the near future. - Nampa