We are now daily bombarded with teachings of twisted, fabricated and distorted history that, the German genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama have affected all the Namibian people, yet there was no any single German settler in the then German South West Africa who was locked up into the concentration camp, and none was forced to perform forced labor, none was dispossessed of his or her fixed or mobile assets, and none was guillotined as a so-called rebel or rebel leader on ground of the German extermination orders against the Ovaherero and Nama.
Our Nama and Ovaherero ancestors individually and collectively have suffered that inhumane fate, therefore, this wicked claim that the genocide has affected all Namibians is not only weird, but it is a painful insult to the descedants of its victims.
We shall not forget as we live the legacy of economic genocide –wallowing in abject poverty in the neglected and under developed former native reserves in Namibia. We shall never forget as many of our brothers and sisters are scattered in exile in the diaspora across the globe.
We shall never forget because the remains of our ancestors that are scattered in unmarked graves in the deserts dunes, valleys and mountains continue to be unearthed.
We shall never forget as the skulls of our ancestors are still kept in laboratories, museum and private dueling in foreign lands.
Our Nama and Ovaherero ancestors were sovereign nations or communities living in well demarcated sovereign geographical territorial areas.
Pre-colonial history clearly records that, before the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 which balkanized Africa into colonial territories, there lived sovereign culturally diverse communities (nations without a nation-state) in the geographical territory which later came to be called German South West Africa, South West Africa and present day Namibia.
From amongst the communities who resisted German colonial occupation, in the then newly declared German South West Africa following the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, the Nama and Ovaherero were specifically singled out and targeted with extermination orders intended to wipe them out from the face of earth.
German authorities considered and declared our Ovaherero and Nama ancestors as rebelious tribes, and some died fighting colonial occupation of our sovereign territories, some were captured and kept in captivity in the notorious concentration camps, while others were banished into exile.
Our ancestors who fallen as martyr of the war of resistance, died as Ovaherero or Nama fighters and have never surrendered to anybody their Nama or Ovaherero sovereign as a nation or people.
Those Nama and Ovaherero who were thrown into the concentration camps, they were kept in captivity as Ovaharero or Nama prisoners of war but not as German South West Africans or Namibians, and those who were forced into exile, went there as Ovaherero and Nama refugees as opposed to German South West African or Namibian refugees.
Present day Namibia was a nation or composition of sovereign nations (sovereign diverse communities) without a nation-state until 21st March 1990, when we were born a sovereign nation-state (Namibia).
From the time when this geographical territory presently called Namibia was first occupied by Germany after the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, to the time of apartheid South Africa colonial occupation which ended in 1990, refugees fled into exile from this country. And oral history informs us, that the first refugees to arrive in exile from here, who fled from colonial persecution were the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu, Nama and Damaras in the 1800, and early to mid 1900.
For the Nama and Ovaherero, there were exterminations orders issued against them by imperial German authorities’ representatives.
These category of refugees regarded themselves as having fled either from their sovereign land of the Ovaherero (kehi ro vaherero), or from Namaqualand for the Nama.
Those of us who were born in exile from descedants of the direct survivors of Herero and Namaqua genocide, grew up knowing that our ancestors were survivors of genocide who fled into exile from ehi rovaherero which was illegally occupied by the German colonialists, and who have illegally named our land German South West. For us it remained ehi rova herero (the land of the Ovaherero while for the Nama in exile it remained as Namaqualand or the land of the Nama respectively.
There was no single day, whereby our people in exile regarded themselves as German South West Africans.
They have always maintained their sovereign cultural identity (Ovaherero mbaza kehi rova Herero – Ovaherero from the Land of Ovaherero) and Nama from Namaqualand who the German imperialist colonialist intended to erase from the face of the earth.
Furthermore, to my knowledge even the refugees who fled into exile from the 1950s, I never heard them, identifying themselves as South West African refugees. In most cases, they were introduced and referred to as either new refugees from home (ovatuure ovape okuza konganda), and later as SWAPO or SWANU refugees (ovataure vo SWAPO poo vo SWANU) from South West Africa/ Namibia.
Namibia and Namibians only became popular after the United Nations recognized our territory as Namibia which was pushed/called for, by Prof Mburumba Kerina and Co-, the rest is history.
Am highlighting all the above facts to demonstrate that, those who are referring to the Herero and Namaqua genocide as Namibia genocide or genocide against the Namibian people are insensitive to this historical inhuman tragedy. When this genocide took place Namibia was not in existence as a nation-state as it is today.
Even-though the Ovaherero and Nama are part and parcel or component of the present day modern nation-state of Namibia, the Herero and Namaqua genocide is not the Namibian genocide or genocide against the Namibian people per true sense of the word.
When the genocide occurred, the Nama and Ovaherero were sovereign nations on their own territories that were illegally occupied by imperialist colonial Germany which they fought against. Therefore, the generalization of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide as the Namibian genocide or genocide against the Namibian people is a repeated pure lies and insensitive provocative historical distortions. This generalization ought to be stopped as it undermine reconciliation and mutual peaceful co-existence of our communities in this new born nation-state (Namibia) of ours.
Please refer to the Herero and Namaqua genocide as recorded by the United Nations or the Ovaherero and Nama genocide as the majority of the Nama and Ovaherero refers to it as is.
Just like the majority of the citizens of Namibia have accepted or tolerate the notion that, there are only two former liberation struggle movements qualifying for the Veteran of the Liberation struggle status in this country, SWANU and SWAPO, on account of the role they have played in the historical struggle for the liberation of Namibia, it must be accepted that the German Extermination Orders singled out and targeted the Nama and Ovaherero for annihilation, but not all the now united people of Namibia who include the descendants of the former German settlers whose ancestors were never covered or affected by the extermination orders which culminated into the Nama and Ovaherero genocide as a matter of historical fact.
The attempt to generalize the Ovaherero and Nama genocide as Namibia genocide in the manner it is being done by the German and Namibia officials is an insult which should be treated as a crime, just like, with regard to the Holocaust in Germany .
Furthermore, the Herero and Namaqua genocide must not and cannot be linked to the so-called development aid which Germany voluntary give to Namibia and other countries across the globe.
Germany is giving development aid to Namibia just like it does to countries which were not occupied or colonized by her, and it is doing that as an international obligation.
Again Germany ought to be the last country to un-ashamedly bluff or boast about the so-called development aid it gives to Namibia, because post second world war Germany was rebuild with international development aid through the Marshal Plan.
Can German produce a catalogue of how their so-called development aid benefited the descedants of the victims of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide who majority of them up to today live in the neglected and under-developed former native reserves that are without electricity, telecommunication and tarred roads.
How does German development aid benefit the Ovaherero, Nama and Damaras living in the diaspora whose ancestors were forced to leave as result of German colonial oppression and persecution ? History informs us that the economic assets which were expropriated from our Ovaherero, Nama and Damara ancestors such as land and cattle were donated as gifts to some of the then German settlers in German South West Africa.
Germany ought to know that Namibia is a relief place for its Germans of dual citizenship who many regard this country as home.
We all know that unified German is still grappling with inequality between many Germans from the former Germany Democratic Republic (GDR) and former west Germany. It is grappling with the issue of property claim by those who lost their assets during the German wars in the former two post war Germany (GDR and West Germany).
If German government representatives tolerate and handle property claims by some Germans back home, and restorative justice by the Jews in German and elsewhere across the globe, why do they down play or prejudice the Nama and Ovaherero just course or calling for restorative justice and restitution?
The Ovaherero and Nama call or just course for restorative justice and restitution shall never die no matter how it is being distorted by some German and Namibia government representatives.
Just like the Mau-Mau in Kenya have succeeded with their reparation claim against the UK government, and the Jews of Europe (including the German Jews) have succeeded against the German government on restorative justice for the Holocaust, the Nama and Ovaherero shall succeed with our claim.
It may take decades or generations to come, but for sure, we shall overcome.
Germany may not restore the lost lives of our ancestors, but it will remain answerable and accountable for the cultural, economic and physical genocide it has caused us.
Germany must stop planting seed of future instability in Namibia with her denial, prejudices, and reactionary stance on the Herero and Namaqua genocide. We shall overcome, and lasting reconciliation, peace and stability shall forever, forever and forever prevail!!!