June 13, 2011

Aletha Nguvauva inaugurated as first female paramount chief

With much fanfare - brass bands, scantily dressed Ovahimba women, live music and an abundance of meat - Aletha Nguvauva was inaugurated as the Ovambanderu paramount chief at Gobabis. Hundreds of supporters of this faction of the divided Ovambanderu community flaunted their khaki, green, black and red traditional attire at the Legare Stadium. Following the suicide of her son, Keharanjo II Nguvauva, on April 8 this year, Aletha Nguvauva became the first woman to be enthroned as paramount chief. At the time of Keharanjo II Nguvauva's death, a High Court case was pending between him and Kilus Nguvauva about the Ovambanderu chieftaincy. The dispute has been boiling since the death of their father, Chief Munjuku Nguvauva, in 2008. When Aletha Nguvauva's appointment as paramount chief designate was announced on May 1, the Kilus group said they considered her neither a queen nor a paramount chief.

During her speech, Aletha Nguvauva said women made better leaders. "Where there is a lady, there is bound to be prosperity and unity. It's hard to find men or husbands who will know the dates of birth of even two or three of their children or in what grades they are." (The Namibian)

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