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“Tjipangandjara” film celebrates OvaHerero culture and heritage

“Tjipangandjara” film celebrates OvaHerero culture and heritage

By Adolf Kaure.

The OvaHerero culture and heritage was relived when the first Otjiherero film, “Tjipangandjara” was recently screened at Swakopmund’s Atlanta Cinema.

Tjipangandjara was a poet of the late 1800s, who narrated the diverse lifestyle of the OvaHerero people. He would go on foot to the hilltop to blow a horn notifying nearby villages of tragedies like death . His tales, idioms and folklore which have been passed on from generation to generation, are still relevant in the present age.

The 90-minute film was directed by filmmaker Lesley Tjiueza. He took Tjipangandjara’s narrative and retold the scenes of the OvaHerero way of life. This included their daily cultural activities like oral tradition, story telling for children, hunting, burial arrangements and mourning at funerals.

“The actors in the movie are complete amateurs. We shot this movie with two iPhone cellphones, accept for the drone footage,” Tjiueza said.

After the screening, the audience was asked what they though of the film. Some said that they would like to see a sequel as it ended at a climax [in the form of] a traditional wedding.

“The movie ended where it ended beacuse the money that we got from the Namibia Film Commission was not a lot. I just wanted to know your reaction,” he said.

Tjiueza thanked all who came to view the film emphazising the importance of culture.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone who came to watch the film. I am filled with joy and it has painted a picture of our culture.”

“It should be our aim to take the message of the Herero culture across the borders,” he said.

The film was launched in Windhoek at the Mareua Mall Cinema and will also be shown at other villages and towns like Coblenz, Okamatapati, Okondjatu, Otjinene, Otjiuaneho, Epukiro, Otjombinde, Aminus and Gobabis.


The cast and crew of the Tjipangandjara film. (Photograph courtesy of Lesley Tjiueza)


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