Buchters and Caprivians reject name changes

11 Aug 2013 03:50
By Paulus Shiku
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 AUG (NAMPA) - Some people who were born, raised and/or lived in Lüderitz for over 25 years are rejecting the change in the town’s name to ≠Naminüs, and threatened to protest against the decision next week.
The “Buchters”, as they call themselves, are furious about the name change, saying they might lose their identity as “Buchters”.
“We are all against it. There will be a big protest next week. It is not good for tourism at all,” said a local businessman, who asked for his name not to be mentioned.
Others said the Nama name given to the harbour town is difficult to pronounce, and that the politicians who made recommendations for the name change, did not consult them for suggestions.
“I am very angry, they should have asked how we feel about that name. Now we just learned from the newspaper that the name has changed. So, are we not Buchters anymore,” asked another resident, Hileni Shipembe.
Nelago Stephanus said it came as a surprise to hear that the name Lüderitz is no more, and is, therefore, disappointed and angry.
Other criticism is that businesses with the name Lüderitz in it will lose their brand identity and money to now have to change it to include the new name or other names.
“Where is this coming from all of a sudden,” questioned Aina Petrus.
Bazil Brown said he does not have a problem with the preservation of history by changing colonial names to indigenous names, and “Buchters” will remain as such despite the name change.
“We will continue to keep our culture despite the change of name. We do not have races in Lüderitz anyway - we are all Buchters. We do not call ourselves Whites, Namas or Wambos,” Brown said.
Manfred Anderson is happy and is celebrating that eventually the colonial name has been done away with.
“As a Nama child I cannot be happier than this. It is like we are born again. It is a new era and things have to change,” he told this news agency on Saturday.
Erkki Andreas Mupanda acknowledged that the new name might be difficult for some people to pronounce, but that should not be a reason for people to reject it.
He stated that Lüderitz is a colonial name, so people should not be stuck with it and must respect the new name.
“Lüderitz is the name of a colonial ruler who bought our land with tobacco, so why should we fight over that name,” Mupanda charged.
Councillor for ≠Naminüs Constituency, Jan Scholtz responded that he was part and parcel of the recommendations to change the name.
He explained that people should accept the name, because it is there to restore the history and originality of the town.
“People have a tendency of complaining about almost anything. That name was recommended by the town’s former leaders, even before we came,” Scholtz said.
Mayor of ≠Naminüs, Suzan Ndjaleka also welcomed the decision by President Hifikepunye Pohamba to rename Lüderitz, and asked residents to support the name change.
“I am aware of those who support and those who do not support the name. All I ask is for everyone to work together with us to make sure the name transformation is effected,” she told Nampa on Saturday.
The name change of the Caprivi Region to Zambezi Region is also facing objection by some people, saying Zambezi is not an appropriate name for that region.
Those who spoke to this reporter and posts on social network site, facebook, indicate that the name change also rob them of their identity as Caprivians.
“We used to say we are Caprivians, now when someone ask what we are, should we say we are Zambezians,” asked Melvis Mwezi.
Sim Mpnzie posted on facebook that “it is game time, politics using its power now, but hell-no with the so-called Zambezi”.
“Not even the Zambians who benefit 100 per cent from the Zambezi River named their provinces or towns to Zambezi. Why only us Caprivians who only have a 10 per cent share of that river,” read another post by Brian Samulandela.
Charles Chai threatens “No vote for Zambezi next year”.
Lüderitz was named after Adolf Lüderitz, a tobacco merchant from the German city of Bremen, who purchased the bay and adjacent land in 1883.
Caprivi was named after German general and statesman, Count Leo von Caprivi, who was the German Chancellor between 1890 and 1894.