By Shivute Kaapanda [Think Tank Africa]

OMBALANTU, also spelled as ‘Ombaanhu’ by those who speak fluent

Oshimbaanhu, one of the-Oshiwambo dialects spoken by few in the west

Owamboland. Unique of their own are Aawambo that are Aambaanhu, their

history, revolution and tribal kingship.

The microscope of historical account is facing the Ombalanhu community

due to lack of research regarding the people in question. The youth of

Ombaanhu are at no interest knowing their history of ancestors

regarding kingship and the general evolution of Ombaanhu as a point of

learning; therefore a leftist youth, Shivute Kaapanda of Eyanda

village, in Ombalanhu, is hereby giving a historical narrative of Ombalanhu

based on the account if historical facts:

As oral history can recall from the recent generation, the Aambalanhu

people are part of Aawambo tribe who originally came from the great

lakes (Omatale Omanene yaNausila) of Kenya.  Before the formation of

kingdoms and clans (National Archives), it’s said that Amushila waNehau

lyaKalimba led Aambalanhu from the great lake. He was not a king nor

was he from a particular clan. When the formation of clans took stage

in Owambo people, Aakwaghwiyo clan became the royal clan of Ombaanhu

by that time because a man from Nghumbi royal clan, a royal clan from

which Aakwanghwiyo clan originated from, which was a man known as Kamhaku

KaHuhwa, who was said to have become the first king of Ombalanhu, was from. So

thats where ombaanhu kingship is said to be started. The following is

the sequence of Ombalanhu kings is:

King Kamhaku kaHuhwa followed by Avula ya Epohe, who was followed by

Amuheli waKalipi, followed by Ishitile yaUkahona, followed by Eita

yaAitewa, followed by Eelu ya Elaa, who was then followed by Avula

yaAlweendo. All these kings are said to belong to

Aakwanghwiyo/Aakwanambwa clan and they used to live at the palace

designated for the Ombalanhu kingship in Ohamwaala village near Outapi


According to “Ehistori lj’Ombalantu”  a manuscript written by a

Finnish missionary named Kalle Hilmanen the people of Ombalanhu were

called “Aantu yaNakatati” (people of the bow) by Aakwaluudhi and

Aangandjera people and other neighbouring kingdoms. After the killing of the

dictator King Kamhaku, by then everybody could take up arms

(bows) without the permission of a king  since all other kings who

led after King Kamhaku were just declared as tribe leaders, not kings.

But this only came after the mysterious death of King Avula yaAlweendo

who, in the year estimated 1913-1914, went with the Germans to Outjo supposedly to

sign a protection treaty with the Germans. He was never seen ever

since and he was presumed as having disappeared mysteriously. Estimated

years 1915-1916 Ombalanhu was without a king and in 1917 the royal clan

installed Ishitile yaShiweva as a king.

However there was a constant

fear of mysterious disappearance born of king yaAvula incident,

therefore the Ombalanhu people used the title ‘leader’ and not a king

as the overall ruler of the kingdom.

According to writer D.L. Amutenya’s Article, Estimated 1918, an

Afrikaner (Boer) by the name “Cocky” Hahn, a Commissioner of Colonial

South African government arrived in Ombalanhu from Ondonga via Uukwambi

palace. Hahn was nicknamed “Shongola” (Whipman) by Aambalanhu because

he liked whipping black people (black brutality). Shongola first arrived

in Okalwii village west of present-day Onambelela.

Estimated 1917, the Ombalanhu ruler was King Ishitile yaShiweva of

Aakwanghwiyo clan. Popularly known as “Mbwada”, King Ishitile was

chosen after the fear and uncertainty  that had followed the mysterious

disappearance of King Avula ya Aweendo by the Germans (Germans owe us)

and the brutal killing of King Mandume ya Ndemufayo of Oukwanyama

Kingdom. Mbwada was a very interesting ruler and a man of few words.

The most regular answer he gave at any question posed to him was

“Okalunga” meaning “it is god”. He is said to be very innovative and

secretive, loved the royal house and he wanted to protect it from the

influence of white people. After the whites started to engage the

Ombaanhu masses, Mbwada expanded his regular answer adding “Noonyoko”

so the regular answer became “Okalunga Noonyoko” meaning ” It is god

and your mothers”.

The kingship of Aawambo tribes follows maternal lineage and not the

paternal lineage. It’s said that King Kamhaku had a brother called

Naunyango waHuhwa but he was left-handed  and could not be installed as

a king in accordance with Oshiwambo traditions. The royal clan

therefore installed Avula Epohe who was a half-brother to king Kamhaku

whose mother was Qeen Naitembu, who was named after a village in

Ombaanhu, a village called Onaitembu in Outapi constituency.

I would like to make it crystal clear here that when those who speak

from far refer to Ombalanhu as with  kingless history while without

proper knowledge  may be marked wrong and be ridiculed for lack of

facts and history of Ombalanhu.

All Aawambo tribes had kings, who had their roots in the Nkumbi royal

clan. Aandonga yaNangolo dhaAmtenya, Aakwanyama yaMandume, Aakwambi

yaAshipala shaKwedhi, Aambaanhu yaKamhaku kaHuhwa, Aakwaluudhi

yaNambula yaMukatha, Aangandjera yaKale kaAmadhila, Aambandja AND the

territory of the fugitives in the west of Owamboland called

Uukolonkadhi, where no king ever ruled.




National Archives, Ehistori lj’Ombalantu, The people’s Republic of Ombalantu.

ARTICLE BY; Shivute Kaapanda

A village writer

EYANDA VILLAGE(+264814209127)