Onamungundo — In life Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas was called a king, advocate of change, unifier and a caring father figure who aspired to serve his people with dignity.
Namibians from all corners have joined the Aandonga community in paying homage to King Kauluma- a title of honor and tribute to his clan- who died on March 26 at age 86.
"He was a [leader] for both the rich and poor, a tolerant man who had a soft and caring heart for all. Here in this palace, we the people in this community, were fed at all times and we would greatly remember his caring spirit," Andreas Shapaka, a neighbour and friend to the deceased, said.
The memorial service, which attracted hordes of people from various traditional authorities, was held at the Ondonga Palace at Onamungudo yesterday.
Kauluma died at the age of 86 on March 26 at Onandjokwe Intermediate Hospital.
He took over the reigns of Ondonga in 1975 when he succeeded his late brother Fillemon Shuumbwa Elifas.
Kauluma has been leading Ondonga for at least 44 years.
The Ondonga Traditional Authority, where Elifas was the head, praised their late Omukwaniilwa for advancing women into traditional authority positions were many today not only serve as headman but also serve as senior councillors.
Speaking on behalf of the Ondonga Traditonal Authority, Senior Councillor Eino Shoondili Amutenya said besides advocating for women advancement in leadership, Kauluma also ensured that women in the traditional leadership structures were able to take decisions for their people.
It was also during his reign that women traditionally were no longer required to vacate from their land once their husbands are deceased.
Amutenya said 'Omukwaniilwa' will particularly be remembered for being a non-discriminatory leader who allowed people from other traditional authorities to settle in Ondonga, which included giving farms to those who sought for them regardless of their traditional affiliation.
The Chief of Uukwambi Traditional Authority, who deputised Omukwaanilwa in his role as the Head of the eight northern traditional authorities, said the late Omukwaniilwa will be remembered for promoting and advancing the wellbeing for the people in the eight traditional authorities.
"He was my helper, and my advisor especially in issues pertaining traditional authority issues," Iipumbu described his colleague and friend whom he has known long before their days in the traditional leadership arena.
Apart from his traditional role, Omukwaniilwa also left tracks in the business sector where he will be remembered for being instrumental in getting the Agra Namibia branch at Oshivelo off the ground.
His youthful friend Amon Shipanga, the Onamutayi district senior headman from the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority called on the populous of Ondonga to unite.
Also speaking at the memorial, Chief Sam Kavazembi of the Kavazembi Royal House appealed to government to allow local languages to be offered at centres such as the Namibian College of Open Learning(Namcol) to allow Namibians to converse with ease.
A second state memorial service is scheduled to take place today.
Kauluma will be laid to rest at Olukonda on Saturday.