Battle of Ohamakari commemorated at Okakarara

12 Aug 2013 04:20
OKAKARARA, 12 AUG (NAMPA) – Several OvaHerero people who gathered at Okakarara on Sunday to commemorate the Battle of Ohamakari urged Government to recognise this commemoration as an official event.
The battle of Ohamakari broke out on 11 August 1904 between OvaHerero and the German colonial armed forces.
That war is regarded as the first fierce war between the two groups.
Historians on Sunday told the gathering that after that battle, the former German Major-General Lothar von Trotha on 02 October 1904 ordered the extermination of all OvaHerero.
The OvaHerero, however, fought back bravely under skillful commander and former OvaHerero Chief Samuel Maharero.
This year’s commemoration was held at the Okakarara Cultural Centre, where several speakers urged Government to register the day - 11 August -as a national day.
“The new generations of Herero continue to hold this commemoration of Ohamakari in honour of their great-grandfathers,” said Alphons Zatjirua, who was one of the special guest speakers of the day.
Zatjirua is a retired school principal of the Okakarara Primary School, who is now a respected historian in the area of Okakarara.
He urged Namibians to unite in order to jealously preserve peace in the country.
Another speaker, Okakarara Vocational Training Centre (OVTC) acting principal Penson Mootu called on President Hifikepunye Pohamba to join the OvaHerero in their commemorations at the historical Ohamakari site.
Another speaker, Gabriel Ngatajosi, said the 1904 war of resistance broke out between the Germans and OvaHerero under no political party.
“It was a true war, which was aimed at liberating this country from the colonial rule without an eastern, northern and/or western ethnic political party. Therefore, this should become a nationally-recognised day,” stressed Ngatajosi.
He noted that besides the fact that about 34 000 OvaHerero died at the hands of Von Trotha, who was war fighter himself and commanded a heavily-armed force on 11 August and 02 October 1904 to kill all OvaHerero, the Germans failed because the OvaHerero were united.
Ngatajosi, therefore, urged all OvaHerero to remain united.
Several traditional leaders - together with a host of supporters and sympathisers - from the Okakarara and Okamatapati areas attended the historical day on Sunday.
Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu last year also urged Government to erect a Heroes’ Acre Monument here at the Ohamakari battle field, and to declare 11 August a public holiday.