First ever Hambukushu book to be launched Thursday evening
The Hambukushu of Namibia’s Kavango East Region, a book by Maria Fisch will be launched on 15 September at 18:30, at the Namibia Scientific Society.
Speakers at the launch will include Professor Joseph Discho, Ombudsman Basilius Dyakugha, and Erik von Wietersheim Board Member.
The Society said the Hambukushu is the first ever comprehensive history of the Hambukushu people, covering approximately 300 years.
“The older history of the Hambukushu is a party based on the extensive research material which Father Joseph Wust gathered between 1921 and 1939 from elderly Hambukushu informants, who still possessed first-hand knowledge about their past,” they explained.
They further explained that Maria Fisch takes the reader back to the Hambukushu’s original home at Mussuma, their sojourn at Ditombora and along the Luyana and Mashi Rivers, and then describes their final settlement along the Kavango River around 1 800 and up to recent times.
“The book presents valuable information on all Hambukushu traditional leaders (hafumu) and the traditional leadership elite, including exact genealogical details, their alleged ability to make rain, and important event during their time,” they added.
The Society said apart from the Hambukushu in Namibia, the book also describes the Hambukushu living in Angola, Botswana, and Zambia.
“The author discusses the relations the Hambukushu have with other people of the region including! Kung, Khwe, Balozi, and Batawana during the time of slave trade and the rule of different colonial powers,” they said.
The Scientific Society emphasized that since the Roman Catholic missionaries played an instrumental role in shaping the lives of many Hambukushu, therefore a large part of the book is devoted to their efforts in the fields of education, healthcare, and spiritual development.
“This book is a must for anybody interested in this aspect of Namibia history, as it is thoroughly researched and written by a medical doctor with an anthropology background and someone who combines expertise with passion, a missionary vision, and commitment and all members of the Kavanog region and anyone related to Christian mission, anthropology, cultural diversity, and medical care will find this book most interesting,” they added.
Dr. Maria Fisch was born in Germany on 24 December 1924 and lived and worked in the Kavango most of her life. In 1957, she was sent to the then South West Africa by the Missionsaztliches Institut in Wurzburg and was responsible for the entire northeast region. She learned to speak Mbukushu to connect with the local patients and learned to about the history and culture of the people living there.