OKAKARARA: Hundreds of Otjiherero-speaking Namibians on Saturday gathered at the Okakarara Cultural Centre to commemorate the battle of Ohamakari, which broke out between the OvaHerero and German armed forces in August 1904.
Several speakers here praised their forefathers, the likes of OvaHerero Paramount Chief Samuel Maharero amongst others, who had fought against German gunmen on 11 August 1904.
It was after the Ohamakari battle that German General Lothar von Trotha ordered the extermination of all OvaHerero, on 02 October 1904, on a hill at Ozombu Zovindimba in the Omaheke Region’s Otjinene Constituency.
Otjiherero Red Flag Marshall Field Commander Kandjambi Riruako, at Saturday’s event urged all Herero-speaking Namibians to solidify the peace and unity amongst them.
“We won the Ohamakari battle without any military training on how to open fire with cannons and artillery machine guns. We won it because our forefathers were steadily united to fight their enemy,” Riruako stated.
He went on to say that despite Von Trotha commanding his “heavily armed gunmen on 11 August and 02 October 1904 to kill all OvaHerero who were armed or unarmed, with or without cattle, women and children, the Germans had failed because the Hereros remained united.”
The commemoration was filled with traditional dramas and songs about heroism and bravery.
Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Rapama Kamehozu, OvaHerero Traditional Authority advisor Dr Hoze Riruako and several traditional leaders from around the region also attended the commemoration event.
Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu urged the government to erect a monument at the Ohamakari battlefield in honour of the heroes who had perished in the battle, and also asked that 11 August be declared a public holiday.